addition subtraction

7 Addition Math Games within 10

Addition math games can be a fun alternative to endless worksheets and drills.  Addition within 10 refers to addition with the result being 10 or less (i.e. 3+6=9).  Some of the games below actually go to 12.  In these cases, you can help your child figure out the answer or just tell them the answer.  I used both methods until my daughter got used to addition with 12.

After your child learns the basics of addition, they basically need to practice.  It’s very easy to have my daughter work on the addition and subtraction in Math Bingo.  She works on her own with no problem.  But, she will not work on worksheets by herself even when she understands the math problems.  I can gently guide her through a worksheet, but she’s still going to complain about it.  Below are 7 fun addition math games we use to review math facts within 10:

Card Games

Addition War

This card game is a staple of math games. Traditional war has two
or more players each placing a card on a table, and the player with the highest value wins the round. In Addition War, each player places 2 cards on the table and adds them up. The player with the highest sum wins the round. Note: please remove the Jacks, Queens, and Kings.  Ace = 1.

  • Shuffle the deck of cards.
  • Deal the entire deck out evenly between both players.
  • One player at a time flips over two cards and announces the sum of the cards. The child with the highest sum takes all of the cards.
  • When all of the cards have been flipped over, each player counts up their own cards. The player with the most cards wins.

Pyramid War

This card game is a fun alternative to Addition War. I got the idea from Games for Math.  Use the cards to create the pyramid of 6 rows. Make sure each row overlaps the previous row. Only the exposed cards can be removed. Either one card that has a value of ten or two cards the sum up to ten can be removed. The goal is to remove all of the cards.  Note: please remove the Jacks, Queens, and Kings.  Ace = 1.

  • Shuffle the deck of cards.
  • Arrange cards in a pyramid of six rows.
  • Look at the exposed cards and remove any that have the value of ten or any two that sum up to ten.
  • If the player cannot remove any exposed cards, then start flipping over the remaining cards in the deck.
  • As the player flips over each card, remove any cards that can be summed with any exposed cards to make ten or that has a value of ten.
  • Any cards that cannot be removed, must be placed in the discard pile. You can keep the discard pile face up and only use the card at the top, or you can turn over the discard pile and reuse the discarded cards.

iPad Games


Some iPad addition math games are really good at disguising a math lesson with a lot of fun.  This app helps reinforce math concepts: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It also has several different levels. For example, addition level 1, is for first grade and just includes addition within 10. This app allows the player to type in a name and select an avatar. Then, the player can select the math concept (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) and the level.  Of all of the addition math games, this is my daughter’s favorite.  After she gets a BINGO, she gets to play a game. She loves playing with the math bugs and her favorite game, BINGO Bug Bungee. There are three games your child can play after they get a BINGO.

Dice Games

Snake Eyes

This is a fun addition game. It gets its name from the way the dice look when you roll two ones. The goal of the game is to get the maximum number of points while not rolling a one. This game works well for two or more players. These are the steps:

  • Each player gets a sheet of paper with the word SNAKE across the top
  • The players start in the “S” column and roll the dice. Write the sum of both dice on the paper in the “S” column.
  • One player may choose to stop rolling the dice under the “S” column, but other players may continue to roll. Each time a player rolls the dice, the sum of both dice are added to the previous value.  When both players have decided to stop, they move from the “S” column to the “N” column.
  • If any player rolls a one on a single die, that player will lose all previously earned points for that column, and will need to move to the next column.
  • If the player rolls a one on both dice (snake eyes), that player will lose all previously earned points on the sheet of paper, and will need to move to the next column.
  • All players continue working through all of the columns. The player with the largest number of points wins!

Stack Dice

Some addition math games are fun because you get to build things.  This is a game of addition dice, and it requires quite a few dice. The recommendation is 7 or 8 dice per player. It looks like fun, but by the time I introduced it to my daughter it was too easy for her. You can modify the game by using 10 sided or 20 sided dice to give your child a little bit more of a challenge. These are the steps:

  • Each player gets 7 or 8 dice. They will need a different color.
  • Each player takes turns rolling the dice.
  • A player can stack their dice on top of another player’s dice if they have the same number.  (For example, if Sally rolls a 2, John rolls a 5, and Nicky rolls a 2, then Nicky’s dice is placed on top of Sally’s dice.)
  • A stack can contain up to 4 dice before the players have to establish another stack.
  • Continue playing and stacking dice until there are no more dice to roll.
  • The color on top of the stack belongs to the player that had that number. (For example, Sally has red dice, John has white dice, and Nicky has green dice. All of the stacks with red dice on top belong Sally.)
  • Each player counts the total number of points from each stack.
  • The player with the most points wins.

Domino Games

Dominoes Addition

You play addition dominoes the way you would dominoes by matching one end of a domino to another end. However, you can also have your child add the points on the dominoes that they put down. These are the steps:

  • Divide the dominoes by the number of players.
  • Each player puts down a domino where one end matches the end of a previous domino.
  • Each player gets credit for the total number of dots at the ends.  (For example,  Betty puts down the first domino with 1 dot on one side and 6 dots on the other.  Tom’s domino contains six dots on one side and five dots on the other. As a result, Betty gets 7 points because that was the first domino placed on the table.  In addition, Tom gets 6 points because one end contains 5 dots and the other end contains 1 dot.)
  • Both players continue to take turns and keep track of their points for each domino until all of the dominoes are used.
  • The winner is the player with the most points.

Dominoes War

Addition math games can be reused by switching tools.  Dominoes war is played exactly like the War game with cards. Use the dominoes that go to 6 for first grade and you can use the dominoes that go to 9 for more advanced children.

  • Shuffle the dominoes.
  • One player at a time flips over a domino and announces the total number of dots on the dominoes. The child with the highest points takes both dominoes.
  • When both players have used all of their dominoes, they can each count up their own dominoes. The player with the highest points wins.

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