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I created this simple subtraction game so that we would have a good way to use our subtraction flash cards.
Because I don’t know about you, but flashing one card after another isn’t my idea of a good time.
Not that it can’t be useful – kids do need to learn those facts automatically – but I think that games are essential as well.
I was inspired by this game from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational. I simply created and printed a set of flash cards and created a board game with the numbers 0-9.
We took turns drawing a card and moving to the next square which had its answer.
Since my Five often comes home from school complaining that kindergarten math is boring, I decided to play the game with him first.
I haven’t done any subtraction work with him yet, but he was able to use his fingers to solve some of the problems.
When he get stuck, I showed him how to start with the number on a hundred chart (see upper right of the above image) and count backward.
This game definitely gave him the challenge he was looking for!
I would have liked to spend more time talking about the strategy of figuring out the answers, but a certain just-turned-Two was sobbing at my elbow. (The hundred board and its number tiles is one of his favorite toys, and he wasn’t happy that we were using it!)
After I finished the game with my Five, I pulled it out to use with my Seven. He’s been doing subtraction in school this year, and I thought the game would be a good review.
As it turned out, he knew all the answers relatively quickly. I’ll have to find a more challenging way to review his subtraction facts!
Tips for using the printable
- Use just the flash cards your learner struggles with. (Take out the easy ones!)
- For extra practice, have students go through the entire board twice to win.
- If you’d like learners to be independent with this game, you might write the answer on the back of each card. If you do this, be sure to have the cards be face up as they play.
Get your free subtraction race game!
P.S. Looking for more math printables?
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how would they win? would they have to get a card that equals 7 exactly? or how would that work??
Heather Groth, Customer Support
Hi Aaron! You could play that way if you’d like, but we had meant it to be that if someone draws a card that doesn’t have a number tile left on the gameboard, they would get to go the END space.
For instance, if they’re on that green 9 space near the end and they pick up a card that says, “16 – 6,” because there are no more 10 spaces left then they would get to move to the END space. I hope this helps!
Thank you! My first graders were wondering about it. they love this game!
How to play this game with the kids? I want to know the rules of the game.
Hello Gauri Jain!
This is Kate, Anna’s assistant. Here are the directions printed on the board: DIRECTIONS: Put your subtraction flashcards upside down in a pile. Take turns drawing a card. Move to the closest space with the answer to the subtraction fact. Whoever gets to END first (with any number), wins!
To restate, a player will draw a subtraction card and look for the answer on the board. The player will move to the very next space that holds the answer to the fact. The winner is the player who reaches END first.
We hope you enjoy the game!
This is really a good idea to engage students. We can enhance creativity and motivate them to revise concepts learnt with fun. I will surely use the suggested games for my Grade 2 students and motivate them to play these / such games.
Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful ideas and hard work with us! I have been using your freebies for the past two years now and recommend you to everyone I know!
Do you need all of the flashcards to play the game?
No, you wouldn’t have to.
THanks! I’m currently stuck with subtract for my kids
Hi! My name is Lena and I´m a Swedish teacher. I love this mathgame and want to use it in swedish. Is it possible for me to use your board and make the game in swedish? Ofcourse I will put your name on it.
Hi Lena! I’m sorry, but for copyright reasons I’m not able to share my templates.
Thank you so much for this wonderful game.
You’re very welcome, Eeva!
I sincerely thank you for all the wonderful resources you supply. I am a 2nd year teacher I study your work tediously, implement and practice with fidelity. You are simply a jewel!
Thanks for sharing your subtraction game. I’ve decided to also use it with spelling partners. The student will pull a spelling word, say it, write, and roll a die ( 9 count) to see where to move their marker.
thanks a lot mom for sharing. you’re a real mom to us. who is not so much knowledgable on digitizing IMS.
I’m saving this game to use during the Summer. Thanks for your generosity!
You’re very welcome, Sarah!
Mª Pilar Pinar Vázquez
Gracias, por compartir tu material. Es magnífico, a mis alumnos los encanta
You’re very welcome! I’m glad your students like them!
Thank you for all of the wonderful ideas you are sharing with us.
You’re very welcome, Sandra!