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 download subtraction printable pdf file and you are ready to play and learn with a subtraction activity.
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
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 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.
Addition and Subtraction Activities
Here are a few more addition and subtraction games with a spring theme
- Spring Numbers to 20 Board Game– Try this fun springtime activity for practicing counting on or addition
- Rainbow Math Game– Rainbows are fun, and this game involves a tasty treat at the end.
- Make 10 Seeds Addition Game– Seeds are prefect for Springtime. Maybe you can plant some when you are done.
- Ladybug Addition Game – Kids love ladybugs and these cute addition cards will be a hit
- Frog Addition Game – kids will have fun adding up frog numbers and matching them with the correct lily pads
- Bubble Kindergarten Math Worksheets – fun, spring themed math practice
- Goldfish Subtraction Practice -This free printable Goldfish Subtraction Game is a fun to practice subtraction and everyone loves goldfish crackers
- Number Bonds to 10 Fishing Math Craft – help kids see the relationship between numbers in addition with this super cute, summer themed kindergarten craft
- Cowboy Themed Subtraction Cards
- Printable Subtraction Reference Cards
- Easter Themed Subtraction Worksheets
- Sandcastle Math – super cute math craft for kindergartners to practice subtraction!
Don’t miss these other AMAZING free playdough mats!
- Monster Shape Playdough Mats
- Pencil Playdough Mats
- Winter Playdough Mats
- Spring Playdough Mats
- Fall Playdough Mats
- Summer Playdough Mats
- Musical Instruments Playdough Mats
- Human Body Playdough Mats
- Watermelon Counting Playdough Mats
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