Subtraction Made Fun: 6 Engaging Activities for Kindergarten

hands on subtraction games for kids shows a printable subtraction game board, and hands on beads to practice subtractingSubtraction is difficult for students which is why we suggest playing subtraction games and learning this math skill through hands on activities. When students can have multi sensory activities they are able to remember and apply the skill in other settings. So in this blog post we share the best 8 subtraction activities for kindergarten.

Activity 1: Subtraction with Snacks

Who doesn’t love snack math?! You can supply the snack or have students bring their own. Then as they subtract the can eat the snack! This is a perfect way to make snack time educational. First of all, give each student about 10 small snack items such as pretzels, grapes, raisins, gold fish, or even candy. Next, have students set out 3 snacks at the top and write the number on a white board. Then, have students eat one of the 3 snacks and create the subtraction problem. Keep going until all the snacks are gone! 

 Subtraction Activities for Kindergarten Printable Games: Activity 2

shows a connect four subtraction game. students will roll the dice subtract and color a square to connect 4Printable games are an excellent resource for teaching subtraction in a fun and interactive way. There are various types of printable games available that cater to different learning styles and skill levels. That is why in this printable game back we include multiple game ideas to have students practice subtracting in a hands-on way.

Some of the printable games in this pack are print and go and some have a little prep time.

subtraction game board printable shows the top of a game board where students will solve subtraction problemsThe printable game back includes:

  1. Connect 4 Subtraction Games (7 print and go boards)
  2. Subtraction Games with spinners (6)
  3. Roll and move subtraction game boards (6 print-and-go games)
  4. Subtraction game with card deck (6)
  5. Subtraction Slap Game

Each of these games include a set of directions and will make learning fun and engaging for kindergarteners.subtraction activities for kindergarten shows a bear peeking out behind a hive that says the number 0. Then shows three bees with subtraction problems on them that equal 0.Grab these fun printable subtraction games here today!

Activity 3: Subtraction Escape Room

One of my favorite subtraction activities is a small group escape room! You can divide students into small groups or if you homeschool like us, your child can complete this escape room on their own too. We also bring escape rooms to co-op days to create a cooperative setting too.

shows the printable worksheet of a subtraction escape room where students solve subtraction problems and gain clues to solve the mysteryTo Set Up This Subtraction Escape Room:
  1. Print out a student record page for each student, the task cards which are all black and white, and early finisher tracing pages.
  2. Next, cut out the task cards there are 12 total, along with the clues.
  3. Then, follow the step-by-step directions to see what clues to place in which envelope. You will need 5 envelopes total which you can reuse for the next mini escape room too!
  4. Read the prompt to your students before center time so they know their mission is to solve the mystery. Also, explain to your students how to refill the envelopes once they are done using it so the next group can solve the mystery too.
  5. Let your students rotate, practice addition facts within 10, and collect clues.

Escape rooms are a great way to keep students engaged in the center activity and teach students how to work together as a group before time runs out. This low-prep subtraction escape room is fun and a great center game! Snag this fun escape room here today!

Activity 4: Roll and Subtract Dice Game

The roll and subtract dice game is another exciting activity that helps kindergarten students practice subtraction while incorporating an element of chance. To play this game, you will need two dice and a mini whiteboard or paper to write down their subtraction problems. Each player takes turns rolling the dice and subtracting the smaller number from the larger one. They then find the corresponding subtraction problem on their worksheet and solve it. This game not only reinforces subtraction skills but also enhances number recognition and mental math abilities. Additionally, the element of chance keeps the game unpredictable and engaging for young learners.

Activity 5: Subtraction with Cards

Using cards is a versatile and effective way to teach subtraction to kindergarten students. The best part about using cards for subtraction activities for kindergarten is how easy it is to adapt to students learning needs. To begin, gather a deck of playing cards and remove all face cards. Divide the remaining cards equally among the students. Each player flips over two cards and subtracts the smaller number from the larger one. The player with the highest difference wins that round. This activity not only reinforces subtraction skills but also improves number sense, comparison skills, and strategic thinking. It can be adapted to different skill levels by using larger or smaller numbers on the cards. You can create a subtraction WAR game to add even more standards into this game. If you are using this as a math center consider adding papers as an exit slip to make sure students are practicing.

Activity 6: Subtraction with Snap Cubes

Manipulatives, such as snap cubes, are valuable tools for teaching subtraction in a hands-on manner. To start, provide each student with a set of snap cubes. Begin by demonstrating how to subtract using the snap cubes, using a visual representation to aid understanding. For example, if you have six snap cubes and want to subtract two, physically remove two cubes from the group and count how many are left. This tactile experience helps students grasp the concept of subtraction more effectively. Snap cubes can also be used for more complex subtraction problems by grouping them into tens or hundreds.

As a former lower elementary school teacher turned homeschool momma I find learning through games very important in a child’s education.  When activities are fun students are more likely to play the games, practice skills, and gain confidence in the math skill too.

After reading this Subtraction Activities for Kindergarten You Might Also Like:

Adding Games for Kindergarteners

Shape Games for Kids

Counting Activities

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

hey friends!

My name is Nicole and I am so glad you are here! I have always loved photography and have taken classes. Then I started my teacher journey and fell in love with creating resources for what I needed in the classroom. Now I have combined both of my passions to bring you spectacular resources!