How to Teach a Child to Subtract

Having learned ordinal counting to 10, each preschool child can now master simple arithmetic actions. Today, we will explain some activities that will assist in learning subtraction.


Exploring subtraction through bowling… is it possible? Of course! You and your child can organize a competition using bowling pins. For difficult examples, use two sets of bowling pins. Write down how many of them were standing at the beginning how many of them fell? How many remained standing? Can you close your eyes and guess how many should remain? Write the results in the table. Create an amazing tournament game and you’ll watch your child not only learn to subtract, but also master the structure of numbers.

Children education
Unknown number

You will need blank cards for this game. The simplest way to make these is to use a felt-tip pen and scotch tape. Write a subtraction example using big numbers and then write its result on a piece of colored paper. You can use our printables as well! Cover them with scotch or laminate them. Mix the cards and arrange them on a table face down, or mix them in a box. Your child will “blindly” choose an example, and solve it in his mind or by means of improvised objects, toys. Then he will write down the answer. When he is finished, you can check the result which was written down on the backside of the strip. For each correctly solved task, a child scores points. It is possible to complicate a task by using numbers that are higher than ten, but remember, your goal is to properly fix number structures in your child’s memory. Make sure to keep track of time as well. The quicker a child finds the answer, the higher quality are the results of your activity.

Subtraction trainer

The benefit of this training tool is that it is possible to use a large number of objects instead of counters, including plastic animals from a toy farm or a toy from a kinder surprise. It is possible to imagine any improbable adventures this way. Counters can take away alien plates, run away in the wood, get ready for parties, take exams or sing, etc. So, arrange 10 counting-objects in the upper 10 circles. Put the object-receiver in the big round field. Think out fantastic plots and play table theater: “6 princes arrived to a ball (move counters from above in the field of “total”). Three of them went to save the princess. How many princes were left to dance at the ball?” If you print the field on colored paper and laminate it, you can write with a marker on it and then erase what you wrote.

substraction4 substractionOn the color illustration, we assigned fields so that the scheme of the game was clear, but you shouldn’t do it on your game field so as not to remind the child the purpose of your occupation.

substract6 substract5 substract7Thus, games will help your kid imperceptibly, fascinatingly, and quickly master arithmetic. Send us photos of your games!

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