Play Subtraction Sacks Activity

3.6 based on 9 ratings
Updated on Aug 27, 2013

Your child will be a whiz at subtraction with this simple kinesthetic learning device. The subtraction sack game will help her to memorize basic concepts of subtraction. She'll also be able to self-test and gain a better understanding of how subtraction works by adding and subtracting counters that she puts in and takes out of a paper sack. It's also a fun game to play!

What You Need:

  • Counters (plastic beads, chips or marbles)
  • 6 lunch bags (decorated, if you like)
  • Index cards
  • Markers

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to write one number (0-5) on each bag.
  2. Have your child write numbers on the index cards. On six cards, write "-0", on five cards, write "-1", on four cards, write "-2", on three cards, write "-3", on two cards, write "-4" and on one card, write "-5."
  3. Place the amount of counters corresponding to the number on the bag, inside the sack. If a sack has "3" on the front, place three counters in the sack.
  4. Create a corresponding stack of cards for each bag, based on the number on the front of the bag.  For example, if it's bag number 1, place cards, "0" and "-1" into the sack. If it's bag number 4, place cards, "-0, -1, -2, -3, -4" into the sack.
  5. Encourage your child to draw one card and look at the number.
  6. Have them remove the amount of counters corresponding from the same bag that corresponds to their card and guess how many counters will still be in the sack.
  7. Ask her to check her number by looking at how many counters remain in the bag.
  8. If she got it right, ask her to say a sentence explaining what she did.
  9. Try practicing this game with your child every evening until she understands subtraction. Make the game more challenging by adding numbers 6-10.

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