Every teacher knows that as the end of the school year draws near, it’s harder to keep the focus on schoolwork. The same is true if you homeschool. This week we’ve been having fun with this simple hands-on math activity, perfect for working on subtraction facts.
Setting up this activity is super simple.
First use a piece of masking tape to create a number line on the kitchen floor. We are working on subtraction facts up to 20, so our number line went from 1-20. You can easily adjust this to fit your individual child’s needs.
Next, have the kids roll quite a few balls from play dough. (This is great for improving fine motor skills!)
Then it’s time to play!
You can ask a variety of subtraction problems aloud. You could also use flashcards with this activity, allowing them to work independently.
Once you ask the subtraction problem, have your child line up the correct number of play dough balls and then squish them to find the right answer. (For instance, if the problem was 10-6, they would put a ball on each number up to 10, and then squish 6 of the balls. Looking at the remaining un-squished spheres, they could see the answer is 4.)
(You’ll find more hands-on learning ideas in our book ABC’s & 123’s: 40 Hands-On Play Activities to Build Letter, Number and Shape Skills. Read more about it here.)
Not only is this a fun way to practice math facts, it is also a great sensory activity, too! The kids had fun squishing the play dough in a variety of ways, including with their toes. Looking to add another level to the sensory fun? Try using Tutti Frutti Scented Dough.
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