There are many different concepts that are taught in the early years to help set children up to master addition. We teach addition concepts without using the words addition, adding or even plus. Children at this age understand the concept of putting together. They understand AND. They do not need to, but often do, master addition facts and enjoy these concepts.
Here are a few games that you can play to work on early addition skills.
Frog jump on a number line-
materials: ruler/yard stick, die (dice), and a frog
Have your frog start off the end of your ruler. Roll the die and have your frog jump up that many spaces. 0 And 3 more puts your frog on 3. Roll again 3 and 4 more jumps lands your frog on 7. (this is the concept of adding on a number line).
So, here is the big thing I want you to work on with this skill…. the most important skill at this age, have your child count on from their start point. Children at this stage of math development struggle with counting if the do not start at 1 each time. They need to work at a skill called counting on. So with the second example, they would say 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. If they are struggling to count jumps and count at the same time, put a piece of paper or other writing device (white board would be great as it can be used over and over) under the ruler. Draw out the jumps, but don’t move the frog. Now, have your child count on as he/she moves the frog forward.
Frog and Flies
Materials- paper, marker, something to be frogs and flies, 2 dice (two different colors would work best)
Draw a 2 x 6 grid on a sheet of paper.
Have your child roll the dice. Once die will represent frogs and the other one flies.
Have your child add the frogs and flies to the grid based on the number they roll. 2 frogs and 4 flies makes 6. You can easily flip this and compare to see more and less. I have 2 frogs and 4 flies, so I have 2 more flies than frogs.
This game works on a few skills. First it works on one-to-one correspondence. Putting one frog/fly for each number on the dice, then putting them into one box at a time…. AND comparing based on the columns are all levels of one-to-one correspondence.
Remember these are introductory skills and are not expected to be mastered, but played with and experienced