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Addition games teach kids the relationships between numbers and the four mathematical concepts they should know: addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. Though often easy for kids to grasp, can you make learning addition any simpler? This article looks at how playing a wide range of interactive addition games helps young students.

What is the basic concept of addition?

Addition is the first mathematics skill kids learn in kindergarten. The math community represents it with a plus (+) sign, indicating the addition of two or more items or numbers to get a sum. For instance, by adding 7 and 2 (7+2), you get the sum of 9. This skill is the basic foundation for math and the next step after learning single-digit numbers. Addition’s most common uses are calculating money, time, or grocery bills. So when teaching kids this concept, take your time to ensure that the students understand the real-world applications because that’s one way to ensure they remember your lessons. Games are an alternative but practical approach to teaching addition, and the addition with regrouping game is one of the most popular ones.

Addition math games and how to use them in teaching

Math games can be tricky for kids. At first, they may feel overwhelmed by the idea that two numbers can form another without deforming or changing shape. However, with math games, you can assist your students in grasping the concept of addition and the value of math symbols. Addition games should not be too easy, or your students will not miss out on building problem-solving skills early. However, the game should not be too difficult, or you could lose the kids’ interest and, at worst, encourage them to develop a resentment for math. Therefore, teachers should be creative enough to devise ways to make addition games enjoyable.

Using addition games for kindergarten

When playing addition games kindergarten kids focus more on the fun aspect than the learning part of things. So for kids in kindergarten, try games that deal with single-digit numbers or a few objects of the same type to avoid confusing your class. Children’s attention spans are pretty short at this stage so teachers have to find the sweet spot where a game is challenging enough to be exciting but not too tough to be off-putting.

Using addition games for 1st graders

Teachers should prepare a curriculum to help 1st-grade kids practice and learn quickly. Children at that stage are beginning to handle other math concepts like subtraction and counting. Therefore, their teachers need to use games that include sections or levels that mix addition with other simple math concepts.

Using addition games for 2nd graders

Addition games for grade 2 kids are, by default, a little trickier than first-grade and kindergarten games. Second-graders need a lot of guidance and supervision when playing addition games because they may begin feeling bored with learning the same concepts they did in 1st grade and kindergarten. At this stage, parents and teachers should help kids master simple addition problems in anticipation of stricter challenges like fractions and multiplication.

Using addition games for 3rd graders

By the 3rd grade, students should start using math games with timers to train their speed. The teachers will find those games online and test them before adding them to their teaching tools. Third-graders should have become quite familiar with addition and will need to test their ability to solve summation problems under pressure.

Using addition games for 4th graders

As kids advance towards grade 5, introduce them to math games that gradually become more challenging. For instance, instead of finding the answer for 2+2, they should find solutions for two and three-digit addition problems, like 20+15, 21+32, and so on. You can also tie the outcome of their math games to real-world benefits like extra recess time, more toys, a fun trip to amusement parks, etc.

Using addition games for 5th graders

Teachers should add competitive math games to the mix by the fifth grade to push kids to learn more. The teacher may divide the class into two groups and write down the answer to a task. Each group will then analyze the addition problem to determine if the teacher’s result is correct. This strategy improves children’s critical thinking skills and introduces them to reverse engineering.

Are math addition games for kids suitable for learning math?

Parents need to introduce their kids to math from as early as two years old as it offers a good foundation for reasoning, thought, and estimation. There’s certainly no better way of learning mathematics than games because kids find them very engaging and fun. By playing games, kids can understand abstract concepts and remember them for a long time. Besides, math games can teach non-math skills like pattern recognition, hand-eye coordination, etc. Teachers can supervise the children while practicing math concepts by designing a creative game or downloading free online addition games with four to five-star reviews. Addition math games are practical tools to keep children productively busy during the holidays and breaks. When creating or introducing addition games to kids, it is essential to give them clear instructions or risk having students who don’t understand the exercise. Also, to ensure that math addition games yield positive results, choose games that you can customize to the kids’ preferences. Finally, be actively involved in the play to answer the children’s questions.

Which skills can fun addition games improve?

Addition games aid children to be more thoughtful and intelligent. But those aren’t the only benefits to expect from introducing these games to your students. The following are other skills addition games improve:
  1. Inquisitiveness
When children play addition games, they figure things out more quickly and ask more questions. In addition, these games make kids more curious and improve their competitiveness. Students become more eager to sit for math lessons by playing an interactive addition game. They begin to ask more math problems and psychologically prepare for the journey ahead.
  1. Problem-solving skills
Kids need to learn to solve problems at an early age since they tend to carry the skills they learn at that stage into adulthood. Many addition games include real-life scenarios or pictures of everyday objects that help children recognize and solve math problems. These addition games design questions centered around money, food, or solving mysteries. The user interfaces and experiences intentionally use visual cues to walk children through digital renditions of real-world calculation challenges.
  1. Cognitive skills
Cognitive skills or abilities control how the brain thinks, remembers, solves problems, and learns. These abilities help in processing and accepting new information and taking the information to the appropriate area of the brain. Children can develop their cognitive and thinking skills by counting backward and forwards and learning to add numbers and objects. Addition games trigger the different parts of a child’s brain to engage their cognitive skills while improving their spatial awareness and ability to work with shapes and measurements.
  1. Math skills
Math is essential for the development of kids; thus, improving the math skills of kids at an early age is necessary. The speed with which kids identify and understand math concepts and solve numerical problems can help teachers and parents predict their academic trajectory. Thus, addition games are essential to lay the foundation for kids to develop math skills like multiplication and skip counting.

Should you use free online addition games?

Online addition games make learning more interactive and fun, with the ultimate goal being to have kids spend as much time as possible playing and learning. In these free online games, the emphasis is on playing, not just practicing. The developers understand that the longer a kid plays their games, the better they understand the underlying math ideas and the longer they remember the concepts. Teachers and parents should make sure kids play addition games for at least 10 minutes every day. Constant practice and repetition will improve the children’s arithmetic knowledge. But you need to regularly check online platforms for updated games to ensure your students don’t lose interest in the idea of learning math with games. The beauty of websites with free addition games is that you don’t need to pay to get resources for your kids to learn. Since the games are free, feel free to test as many as you want before settling on the one(s) that are suitable for your class. A tip that works for many people is to search for online games with great reviews from previous and existing users. By reading their opinions, you will know what to expect from the apps and if they’re worth your time.


Addition is a basic math concept that kids need to familiarize themselves with as early as possible. For this reason, many companies have created addition games that make the math learning process interactive and enjoyable for children. So if you teach any grade between preschool and fifth grade, you should really consider using fun addition games to improve your teaching methods.