How to Teach Your Kids Simple Addition

Last Update: May 23rd, 2022

Addition is an essential part of a child’s education. There are times, however, when mathematics can be a certainly intimidating ordeal. Fortunately, through a parent’s care and guidance, any troubled tot’s weariness will surely be addressed.

Guiding and nurturing your child’s mathematical acumen is a step towards a firm footing on their academic future. Putting a priority on children’s ability or understanding of the mathematical process of addition gives them confidence and potent preparation for the early rigors of education.

In many states, the goal is to have all their first graders know, at least, their addition and subtraction for values up to 20. The first step in understanding and mastery of addition as an operation is to make the kids understand the nature of adding itself.

To help parents and their children gain a better understanding of addition and mathematics in general, ways to aid in learning the concept have been inventively mechanized by think tanks and studies conducted around the world. The methods that they have developed have not ultimately proven to be effective, accessible, and easy to facilitate.

Here are the many educational ways that can help your kids acquire a deeper understanding of the mathematical operation known as addition.

Utilization of Objects to Showcase How Education Works

It has been proven by research that young minds respond very well to visual stimuli. Making use of this knowledge is sure to aid in understanding addition concepts. From blocks, images, and even counting sticks, there are a wide and varied array of choices to use for these demonstrations and exhibitions. Just about any object that can be easily handled can be used like beads, lego, and even chips. To allow them to acclimate themselves in such activities, start with a small number of items and work your way to more complex problems to further demonstrate the relationship between numbers and the operation.

Here are some activities you can consider for these lessons:

  • Assign a certain number of blocks to a group of children. Have the kids count their blocks first, then the blocks of two other children, and then of the whole group. Once they get a good grasp on the current number of blocks, add some more blocks for some of the kids and redo the exercise.
  • Give your kids a set number of chips or fries or any tasty snack. Have them count how many they have and have them ask you how many more they need to reach a certain number of snacks. For example, if they have five pieces of chips at the start of the activity, ask them how many more they need to reach 15.
  • Use stacking activities to exhibit the effect of addition as an operation. Using blocks, demonstrate how addition works in increasing the value of things. You can use money, legos, and other visually helpful materials that can concretely show an increase in their value or number.

Counting Using Body Parts

The most basic math lessons can be learned through the use of the human body. Further, this is something that the kids can use for future lessons as well. This can be done in a group or individually.

The most fundamental way to use the body for addition is through the use of their fingers. Using their fingers, you can teach kids basic concepts of addition. You can take this further by doing this as a group. Have them count how many heads there are in the group, how many hands, toes, feet, fingers, and even eyes.

To add a dimension to this, you can group them further and move them around for a more challenging experience. Have them count themselves, their body parts and configure the activity to optimize entertainment and learning.

Play Games That Employ Math Concepts

From the money counting of Monopoly to the navigation of Snakes and Ladders, there are a wide selection of games that can help aid you in your goal of nurturing your child’s proficiency in addition.

Games with dice often function as good entryways into addition. The dice itself is an instrument that provides a repetitive drill for learning the operation as you and the kids will have to constantly two numbers together to know how many units your pieces in a board game are to move.  Dominoes and playing cards may also provide an exceptional learning experience for the kids as they are excellent instruments for practice.

Once the group gets a better grasp of how the games work and show an improved response to math problems, increase the challenge by adding new elements like throwing in another die or increasing the number of playing cards.

Count with Coins

If you run out of games, you can still practice some addition with the kids using coins. Money is an important tool in practicing mathematical concepts. You may use money to practice adding ones, five, tens, and even by the 25s.

Using money provides a visual reference and stimulus for the kids to learn from and demonstrates a practical benefit and advantage to learning addition.

Familiarizing Children with the Math Language

Once the kids understand what it means to “add,” it’s time to use their knowledge on solving basic math problems. First, educate them on the meaning of the symbols “+” and “=.” After introducing the meaning of the symbols to the kids, they have to learn how to write it themselves next.

Guide them as they practice writing number sentences. This will start out as just practicing the addition and equal symbols, but when they’re ready, it’s time they write actual number sentences such as “1+1=2,” so forth and so on.

It would also help children a great deal to learn the words that also mean addition such as “all together,” “put together,” “how many in all,” “total,” and “sum” that usually mean that a child will need to add two or more numbers.

There are many other scientifically proven ways to improve your children’s math learning. But some are easier and more accessible than others. Through the easy to execute strategies detailed above, parents are provided with options that are easy to implement themselves.

Elena Jones

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