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Teaching Subtraction with Playdough Mats

Playdough is one of my favorite manipulatives. It can be used in so many ways in a preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classroom. Today we are using it for Teaching Subtraction with a hands-on manipulative that will engage young learners. These Subtraction with Playdough Mats are a simple, fun way for kids to visualize subtracting in kindergarten math. Simply print subtraction printable pdf file and you are ready to play and learn with a subtraction activity.

Teaching Subtraction with a hands-on manipulative that will engage young learners. These Subtraction with Playdough Mats are a simple, fun way for kids to visualize subtracting in kindergarten math. Simply print subtraction printable pdf file and you are ready to play and learn with a subtraction activity.

Teaching Subtraction

You can make teaching subtraction to kindergarten extra fun and engaging subtraction playdough mats. This subtraction activity for kindergarten uses subtraction printable to make and subtract flowers with the playdough. On this particular day we were focused more on the subtraction aspect than making sure we had flowers. The yellow balls of playdough were perfect for what we were doing. 

Subtraction with Playdough Mats

Start by scrolling to the bottom of the post, under the terms of use, and click on the text link that says >> _____ <<. The pdf file will open in a new window for you to save the freebie and print the template.

Subtraction activities

Subtraction activities

After we printed out the Spring Subtraction Playdough Mat, we slid it into a sheet protector. This is a fabulous alternative for laminating. There are also dry erase pockets that work well also. 

One of these options is necessary because if the paper is not protected, the playdough will stick to the paper. It will become a mess very quickly. One of these options also allows you to use dry erase markers on the equation portion of the printable mat. 

Subtraction activity for kindergarten

Once the mat is prepped, I wrote a subtraction equation that was challenging for my daughter. The minuend, subtrahend and difference are the three parts of a subtraction problem. For instance, in the problem 5 – 3 = 2, the number 5 is the minuend, the number 3 is the subtrahend and the number 2 is the difference. We created playdough balls and place the same number of the minuend on the mat. From here my daughter could pull away the number that is the subtrahend to find the difference. 

Once the answer was figured out, the answer was written on the equation line. If we needed to discuss the equation, we did that then. When we were finished, we created a new equation and repeated the process. 

Teaching Subtraction

Teaching subtraction to kindergarten

This was a fabulous way to practice subtraction with no pressure. The playdough helps children work through the answer in a visual and hands on way.  While this is a spring theme because of the flowers, it can absolutely be used any time of the year.

Some other ideas is to use blue and white playdough to make clouds and one yellow for a sun.  You could do pink, purple and blue that would represent butterflies.
Yellow and black to represent bees.

The options are endless, really. It is just added fun to help provide an engaging activity for kids while they are learning and practicing subtraction. 

Kids will have fun practicing subtraction with this cute subtraction craft for summer. This sandcastle craft is made from a summer printable for kids to solve the equations, color, cut and paste into a cute summer math craft. This sandcastle printable is perfect for kindergarten and first grade students. Simply print pdf file with subtraction activity. Goldfish subtraction practice subtraction bingo Help children practice subtraction with these handy subtraction flashcards. These printable subtraction flash cards allow kindergarten, first grade, and 2nd graders to practice subtracting along with their favorite toys featuring in movies like Toy Story. Simply grab the pdf file with subtraction flash cards and you are ready to play and learn with a subtraction activity!

Subtraction Activities

Looking for more subtraction worksheets and subtraction games to make learning to subtract fun? Check out these subtraction math ideas and free resources:

Get ready to make teaching subtraction loads of FUN with this subtraction activity for kindergarten. In this subtraction game for kids children will roll the dice, add playdough balls to their ten frame, roll another dice, and smash the number of playdough balls indicated to get the difference. After preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten age children ahve done the play dough activity, they will write the equations on the subtration worksheets. Simply print pdf file with subtraction smash and you are ready to play and learn with a playdough activity for kindergarten. If you are looking for a fun, simple way for kids to learn to subtract these super cute, hibernating animals subtraction within 5 pages are a great way to introduce basic subtraction. Use these kindergarten subtraction worksheets with preschool, pre-k, and kindergartners to learn, practice and review subtracting from five with these fun and free animal worksheets. Print Subtraction Within 5 Worksheets and you are ready for a fun subtract and color activity for kindergarten math. Hungry Unicorn is a fun, hands-on Kindergarten Math activity where kids will practice subtraction as they feed the unicorn. #kindergarten #hungryunicorn #subtraction These fun, free subtraction wheels are a great way to practice subtraction problems with your student! These subtraction worksheets for kindergarten, first grade, and 2nd graders to memorize simple subtraction within 20 facts. Using these subtraction worksheet for class 1 for great preparation for learning more advanced math skills in the future. Simply print math subtraction worksheets to have fun practicing subtraction for kids with no-prep simple subtraction worksheets. crack the code math worksheets

Subtraction Printables

gumball math FREE Star Wars Addition - Make practicing addition FUN with this hands-on Star Wars Addition Activity for kindergarten and grade 1 students. math mystery Students will love these kindergarten addition and subtraction worksheets filled with fun butterfly addition to make learning fun with a butterfly theme for spring! Use these cute butterfly worksheets to work on subtraction for kindergarten and addition for kindergarten with super cute, hands-on practice for Kindergarteners. Simply print pdf file with spring worksheets for kindergarten to play and learn with a butterfly activity for kindergarten.

Addition and Subtraction Worksheets

We have thousands more Free Kindergarten Worksheets and Kindergarten Math Worksheets to make learning fun and easy for kindergartners!

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Playdough Mats

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Subtraction worksheets

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About the author


Deanna Hershberger is a work at home mom, coffee obsessed, a diy addict and a Netflix binger. She spends her days playing and making with her daughter and enjoys quiet nights at home with her husband. She shares all of this on her blog Play Dough & Popsicles.

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