So many kids dread math class, but I think that math can and should be fun for young kids. In fact, in our homeschool math is a favorite subject for both of my kids because I make it playful and hands-on.
One of the playful math activities I did with my kids was the activity described below that involves practicing addition facts with chain links. Adding with chain links combines fine motor skills development with basic math practice. And it’s completely hands-on, which kids love.
For more activities, resources, and printables for teaching math, see my Math Activities for Kids page.
In our homeschool we use several resources for learning math, but our primary curriculum is RightStart Mathematics. RightStart de-emphasizes counting in favor of having kids think in groups of 5s and 10s.
On this particular day, I wanted my daughter to practice adding 5 plus a number. So I created a simple worksheet with six different problems for her. The first addend was in orange to symbolize that she would build it using the orange chain links. The second addend was in purple to symbolize that she would build it using purple chain links.
(We use the Learning Resources Link ‘N’ Learn Rainbow Links.)
For each problem, she began by linking five of the orange chain links.
Then she added the appropriate number of purple chain links.
Then she determined the total number of links in her chain.
She wrote her answers on her worksheet, and also laid her built chains side by side on the floor.
Yay for fun, engaging, and playful math!
Looking for more hands-on activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)? Then you’ll love STEAM Kids! This book features 52 hands-on activities are helpfully identified by category (science / technology / engineering / art / math) so you know exactly what skills your kids are developing.
More resources for teaching math
More math activities from Gift of Curiosity:
- Building a 3D rainbow measurement activity
- Matching and ordering by size
- Venn diagram sorting practice
- Teaching combinations of 10
- Estimating an apple’s circumference
- Introduction to probability
- Math practice with numbered dice
- Put the numbers on the clothesline
- Road numbers
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