By Michael Hartley
The kindergarten subtraction game complements the kindergarten addition game found on this site. Using the kindergarten subtraction game sheet, and some yummy snack food, you can help ingrain the concept of subtraction into a kindergarten child's mind.
If you download and print the gamesheet now, you'll see the picture has some bees holding a bowl above a hungry hippopotamus. There's also a black and white version in case your printer doesn't support color well, or in case you'd like to give your kindergarten kids some coloring practice.
Anyway, once you have the picture printed out, you can use it as follows.
- First, put some snacks into the bees' bowl. Sultanas work well for my four-year-old. You might prefer to use cornflakes, or some other small snacks that can be counted easily (Note, however, that nuts are not recommended for kids under five). Cheese cubes, maybe??
- Next, ask the child to count the number of sultanas. If necessary, help the kid to count. Be enthusiastic! "That's right!! Seven sultanas!! You're so clever! Yay!"
- Then, say something like "Now, the bees are giving the hippo some yummy sultanas! Mmm! One, two, three yummy sultanas for the hippo!" and move the three (or however many) sultanas to the hippo's mouth.
- Then, ask the child "how many sultanas do the bees have left?" When the child gets the correct answer, congratulate him or her. "That's right! Wow! Seven sultanas, take away three sultanas, leaves four sultanas! Wow! You're right! You're so clever!!"
A four to six year old will not always sit quietly and obediently through this exercise. However, as for the kindergarten addition game, children will quickly learn to pay attention, if you make sure that it's by paying attention that they earn sultanas. Then, as you repeatedly play the kindergarten subtraction game with your kindy kids, you'll find it quickly reinforces the concept of subtraction in them. Soon, it will be second nature.
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