A pile of colored foam numbers lie on a blue table top. Using manipulatives in one strategy you can use while practicing addition and subtraction concepts with your 6-year-old.

Simple Addition and Subtraction Strategies to Practice with Your Child

As a parent or guardian, it's important to practice addition and subtraction with your 6-year-old. This very basic math skill is part of the foundation that will make up your child's mathematical abilities in the future. At this age, children are developing their understanding of numbers, beginning arithmetic concepts, and problem-solving skills. By practicing with them regularly, you can help them build a strong foundation in mathematics that will benefit them throughout their lives. Here are some simple addition and subtraction strategies that you can practice with your 6-year-old. Give a few a try and see which one clicks with your little one best!

  1. Counting On - Counting on is a simple addition strategy that involves starting with a number and counting on from there. For example, if your child is asked to solve 3 + 2, they can start with the number 3 and count on 2 more: "3, 4, 5." You can practice this strategy by asking your child to solve addition problems that involve numbers up to 10.
  2. Counting Backwards - Counting backwards is a subtraction strategy that involves starting with a number and counting back from there. For example, if your child is asked to solve 7 - 3, they can start with the number 7 and count back 3: "7, 6, 5, 4." You can practice this strategy by asking your child to solve subtraction problems that involve numbers up to 10.
  3. Manipulatives - Manipulatives are physical objects that children can use to represent numbers and solve math problems. You can use objects like blocks, coins, or beads to help your child practice addition and subtraction. For example, you can ask your child to solve 4 + 3 by giving them four blocks and three more blocks and asking them to count how many blocks there are in total.
  4. Number Bonds - Number bonds are a visual way to show the relationship between numbers. A number bond consists of a large number, which is then broken down into two smaller numbers. For example, the number bond for 7 might be shown as 3 + 4 or 2 + 5. Use cubes or pebbles or whatever little, uniform items you have at your disposal to help them visualize this concept. You can use number bonds to help your child understand the relationship between addition and subtraction. For example, if your child knows that 5 + 2 = 7, they can also solve 7 - 2 by counting backwards from 7 to 5.
  5. Abacus - Invest in a simple, children's abacus. It's an easy and mess-free way to use a manipulative, and your child will enjoy sliding the counters back and forth!
  6. Number line - Teach your child to draw a number line up to 10. Then present the problems and show them how to hop forward and backward to arrive at the correct answer. They can use their finger to count up and down the number line, but if your child needs a little extra motivation to use this strategy, you can use a little toy frog or their favorite Lego character!

By practicing these simple addition and subtraction strategies with your 6-year-old, you can help them build a strong foundation in mathematics that will benefit them throughout their lives. Remember to make the learning process fun and engaging, and to celebrate your child's progress along the way!

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