Pick that Fruit! Introducing Addition and Subtraction

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What You Need:

  • Large sheet of plain paper
  • Crayons
  • Brightly colored pom-poms (at least 20)

What You Do:

  1. On a large sheet of paper, draw and color in a row of three trees. Make sure that the top of each tree is large enough to contain approximately ten of the pom-poms.
  2. Use a black or red crayon to add a plus sign between the first and second tree and an equal sign between the second and third trees. You will then have tree + tree = tree. 
  3. Invite your young learner to join in the fun as you place a few pieces of pom-pom fruit on both the first tree and the second tree.
  4. Challenge your child to place the correct number of pieces of fruit on the third tree.
  5. If your child has difficulty doing this, help her count the number of pompom fruit on Tree One. Now count an equal number onto the third tree. Next, count the number of pom-pom fruit on the second tree.  Again, count an equal number of fruit onto the third tree.  
  6. How many pieces of fruit are on the third tree? If your child can’t do the math in her head, help her count the fruit as she “picks” them from the third tree.
  7. Repeat with different numbers of fruit on Trees One and Two.

Once your child has the hang of fruit picking addition, adapt this activity for subtraction, replacing the plus sign between the trees with a minus sign.

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