Work on addition and subtraction in kindergarten by playing games. Here is a collection of 11 free bump gameboards that kindergarteners can use to build their math skills.
Bump-style games are perfect for kindergarten because they can be played by a single player or they can be a partner game.
These games I’ve made practice these Common Core Standards:
- K.OA.1.f. Represent addition and subtraction with verbal explanations and mental images.
- K.OA.1.g. Represent addition and subtraction with expressions and equations
- K.OA.5.a. Add fluently, orally or in writing, within 5.
- K.OA.5.b. Subtract fluently, orally or in writing, within 5.
Let me share the directions for the bump games and then link to each of the different themes so you can use them in your classroom too.
Directions for bump
Now, the directions for playing bump are pretty simple.
Each player takes turns rolling the dice and covering the matching number with a linking cube. If a number is covered by an opponent’s linking cube, the player may “bump” the other player off the number, and place their own linking cube on the number. A player may “lock” a number to keep opponents from bumping by locking two of their linking cubes together. The first player to run out of their linking cubes is the winner.
Now, I have found a secret weapon that saves me time teaching math games that I use in our math games and activities center.
Want to know what that secret is?
Make the directions easy for beginning readers by giving them what they read well – pictures!
So – all of my bump games listed here have picture directions (for both playing alone or with a partner). That way they can use the directions to:
- be reminded of how to play
- use the materials correctly
- more easily keep game items together
After I modeled one game of “bump” with a direction sheet, I haven’t had to revisit the rules or procedures – really!
I have tons of bump games now, but they get it without any explanation since the directions pretty much always stay the same.
Play subtraction games to find the difference. Here are three subtraction bump games I can recommend.
These subtraction games also come with an optional built-in ten frame so that students can solve right on the dry-erase surface (if you laminate or put them in a plastic sleeve).
Dinnertime! Feed the shark subtraction
Are you ready to dive into the ocean to feed the shark? This ocean-themed bump game is great for any point of the school year.
Students roll two dice and subtract to put their pieces on the gameboard.
Grinchy subtraction game
Pull out this Christmas bump game sometime in December. Students will try to get all of their linking cubes onto the gameboard first to win.
Pick red and green linking cubes to make this feel even more Christmas-y and put it in your math center. Or bring it out when you celebrate Read Across America in March.
Off-road monster trucks subtraction game
This subtraction bump game can be used anytime throughout the school year. The monster truck vehicles make this an eye-catcher for boys especially.
Grab your off-road subtraction game now.
Now let’s take a look at these addition bump games. There are more gameboard options in these themed sets. In total, there are eight games here.
These themes below have four gameboards each. The games are:
- Students can roll a die and find the matching number 1-6 on the gameboard.
- Students can roll two dice, add and find the matching number 2-12 on the gameboard.
- Students can roll 3 dice, add and find the matching number 3-18 on the gameboard.
- Students can roll 2 dice (one regular and one specialty*), add and find the matching number 11-16.
*I even give you the template to make your own specialty dice so you can make a ten-frame die using dice you already own. It’s great for working on composing teen numbers.
These rainbow-themed addition games are perfect to have out all year long. Simply change out the board to match the level of your students.
Bring the rainbow out again in March for St. Patrick’s Day.
Use these wintery bump gameboards to fill the air with snowflakes. These wintertime addition games can work for you anytime your students are ready for the skills.
But if you just want to use them when it’s wintery… for me, teaching in Indiana meant I could use them from November through April – ha!
Let’s wrap it up
There you have it – a collection of five different themed addition and subtraction games that makes for a total of 11 free bump gameboards. I hope that your class finds these games fun and that you like what they’re learning.
Want to know when I teach each of those standards? You can find out when to teach math standards in kindergarten.
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