How to use Addition & Subtraction Strategy Games to Promote Math Fact Fluency

addition and subtraction strategy games

These addition and subtraction strategy games are effective for many reasons. Here are few

1. Engaging Practice

First, they provide a fun, non-threatening opportunity for students to get the needed practice to become fluent in their addition and subtraction facts.

You can use these games in a variety of different contexts with your students:

  • Math Centers
  • Partner Practice
  • Review
  • Homework
  • RTI pull out
  • Sub Plans
  • Fun Fridays

2. Mental Math Strategies

Second, they are based on the addition and subtraction mental math strategies that have been proven to facilitate fluency. Each game provides independent practice in a different mental math strategy.

Mental Math Strategies Included in these Games:

  • Plus Zero
  • Count Up +1
  • Count Up +2
  • Count Up +3
  • Flip/Flop
  • Doubles
  • Doubles +1
  • Tens Partners
  • Plus Ten
  • Plus Nine



  • Minus Zero
  • A Number Minus Itself
  • Count Back -1
  • Count Back -2
  • Count Back -3
  • Doubles
  • Tens Partners
  • Minus Ten
  • Minus Nine

3. Social Skills with Partner Pledge

Another thing that makes these games effective is using the ‘Partner Pledge'.  This pledge will take the edge off your more competitive students and help create a fun and safe learning environment.

Use the included ‘Partner Pledge' poster to teach these important social skills before introducing students to the games.

These are important life skills and will help each student to feel safe while playing with partners.

Before partners play:

  •   Greet each other
  •   Review Partner Game Pledge
addition and subtraction strategy games partner pledge

4 Consistent, Easy Rules

Lastly, all the games follow the same rules, so it makes it easy for your students to play each game. The rules are included on each game for quick review.

addition and subtraction strategy games Unicorn Bump

How to Play: 

Players:  2


1 spinner (or pencil and paper clip)

2 colors of tokens (15 for each student)

1 game board.

DIRECTIONS: Partners take turns. 

1. Spin the Spinner and double to that number.

2. Cover that number on the board. 

3. If your partner’s counter is already on your number, you can ‘Bump’ him/her and take that spot.

4. The first to get 3 in a row wins!

These FREE games are part of my Unicorn Addition and Subtraction Bump Games.


Develop addition and subtraction math fact fluency with these FREE bump games/

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My name is Peggy Means. I am a child of God and a retired elementary teacher. I loved teaching and creating engaging resources for my students. Now, I love sharing my resources and ideas with busy teachers around the world.

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