Learn about Adding and Subtracting with Frogs in a Pond!

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Learning how to count is such an important math skill. We use numbers in some way or form every day. Putting our well rehearsed numbers into context will help deepen our children’s understanding of their value.

To do this, Miss 4 and I created our very own little game.

Fun learning maths adding and subtracting for preschoolers

How to Play

To play the game, you need a pond, six frogs, tongs (added fine motor practise) and a dice.

The aim of the game is to roll the dice and then match the number on the dice with frogs in the pond.

What learning opportunities does this game promote?

Not only does this activity promote counting, but also adding and subtracting! Our little frogs offer a visual representation of the numbers while using the tongs helps to build up those all important fine motor skills.

I was a bit sneaky by encouraging Miss 4 to cross her midline throughout this activity too. Imagine an invisible line running from your nose to your belly button. It is a skill that needs to be practise to cross your left side across this line to the right side and visa versa.

How to engage your child in play

Engaging your child in play that they are interested in is the best way to encourage learning through play. If they aren’t interested in the task, they are not going to get much from it.

Miss 4 quickly learnt how to read the dice by simply looking at the pattern on the top face. She took a lot of pride in positioning the frogs and her new found math skills!

Learning to read a dice is one of the play activities that is learnt in Kindy. This easy to set up game can be easily adapted to suit your child’s interests.

Swap the frogs for

  • Dinosaurs
  • Insects
  • Cars
  • Farm animals
  • Fairies
  • Ocean friends
  • Rocks

Putting the value of numbers into context

This is a fun way to build your child’s comprehension of numbers and maths. The little figurines are a valuable visual guide showing the value of the numbers that they are counting.

Your child will be able to see that 6 frogs are a greater number than 2. When taking some away, they will be able to understand that 4 has a lesser value than 6.

Questions to ask to further build comprehension

Throughout the activity you can ask open ended questions to further your child’s understanding of the game along with loads of other topics! You can discuss colours, directions, challenges they are facing, emotions, strategies, predications, things to do differently next time and so much more.

Here are some comprehension questions that will encourage your child to think and broaden their perspective of the game:

  • How do you think we are going to play this game?
  • What else could we use instead of tongs to pick up the frog?
  • How does it feel to match the frogs with the number on the dice?
  • What is something you could do differently if you cant pick the frog up by his foot?
  • What else could we use instead of frogs to play this game?
  • Which two other numbers that can be added together to make 5?

A summary of the skills used in this game

While it looks rather simple, there are many life skills that can be taught and practised during this game. These are skills that your child can continue to practise during their childhood and well into their adult years.

  • Fine motor skills
  • Crossing the midline
  • Turn taking
  • Patience
  • Sequencing events
  • Cognitive thinking
  • Problem solving skills
  • Logical thinking
Miss 4 really enjoyed this game and taking ownership of inventing it ourselves. It’s easy and quick to set up so would be great to fill in that half hour before dinner at the end of a crazy day. When you give it a go, let us know! We would love to see your perception of this math game! Feel welcome to share your experience in our Play Inspired Mum Inspiration Facebook group! I can’t wait to see how your little ones enjoy exploring and learning about numbers! Dani D x

Disclosure: This Blog does contain affiliate links which I may earn a small commission from if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you.Biome Eco Stores - Zero Waste, Toxin Free, Ethical ChoicesFree Delivery on all Books at the Book DepositoryLooking for more Math activities? Check these out!

Check out these fun downloadable Math resources!

DIY Math Game for Preschoolers

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  1. I love this! I started to homeschool this year and i have three kids at home. This will be very useful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This sounds like fun way to study about addition and subtraction kids will learn better with toys than just pencil and paper.

  3. That looks like a really fun game which can be used to teach kids some maths. I bet they love it! If I ever have my own kids, I’ll introduce this game to them for sure. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I completely agree! The simpler the toy, the more creativity it will inspire. In a world where technology offers so much, I feel as though it is the simple toys which will allow our children to develop their own thoughts and ideas rather than a programmed response xx

  4. How cute is this game?!?! We are having our first kiddo in April and I cannot wait to be able to do these kinds of games with her as she grows older!

    1. Congratulations on your pregnancy! Watching your child explore and grow is such an amazing adventure! You are going to be blown away time and time again. Children certainly are incredible beings x

    1. Watching their little minds learn about the world is such an amazing journey! You are in for such an incredible ride! I’m sure there will plenty you will be able to share with your son too ??

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