Learning how to add double digit numbers can be difficult for some kids, especially when it comes to understanding why they must start the problem by adding the one’s column first. After all, we read from left to right; it seems natural to do math the same way.
Using Base 10 Manipulatives to teach double digit addition gives them a visual of why starting in the right-hand column is so important.
You can easily make your own homemade base 10 math manipulatives to help your child work on math at home.
Teaching double digit addition with homemade math manipulatives
This page contains affiliate links.
- Base 10 Manipulatives
- Extra pony beads and pipe cleaner pieces
- Dry-erase board
- Dry-Erase Markers
Set up for hands-on math activity
Use the dry-erase markers to write a double digit addition problem on your white board.
Show your child how to use your Base 10 Manipulatives and extra pony beads to represent each double digit number in your addition problem.
Explain that it is necessary to start by adding the one’s column. Add up the single pony beads together. If they add up to 10 or more, have your child use the extra pipe cleaner pieces and slide the pony beads onto it to create a new group of 10. This is a great visual to help them understand what is happening when we carry that one!
Now have your child count the remaining single pony beads up and write that number in the one’s column of the answer. Count by 10’s to add up the number that should go in the 10’s place of the answer.
Create several more problems for your child to solve in this method. Sliding the beads onto the pipe cleaners not only gives them a great visual for the math problem, but it’s also fun and great for fine motor skills, too!
- Use the Base 10 Manipulatives and loose pony beads to represent a double digit number and have your child figure out what the number is and write it down on the white board.
- Let your child create a few addition problems for you to solve using the manipulatives. Being able to “be the teacher” not only gives them a sense of confidence, but also reinforces what they have learned.
- When your child is ready, use the manipulatives to teach double digit subtraction.
Using Base 10 Manipulatives makes math more fun, and will help your child better understand what is happening in the problem.
If you liked this hands-on math activity, you might want to check out our Subtraction Squish, Kinesthetic Activity to Teach Skip Counting, and Nerf Gun Math activities.
Using homemade base 10 manipulatives to teach double digit addition can also be found in the ebook ABC’s & 123’s: 40+ Hands-On Play Activities to Build Letter, Number, and Shape Skills.