# Interesting Math Games with Lego for Kids – Subtraction

Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

A really fun way to learn math with Lego. Lego Math games are a great way to encourage your child to develop their math skills and talk about math. This video features a math addition game using Lego to create number sentences and calculations. A great way to explore addition with your child.

More Lego Ideas.

Do you want to teach your kids how to subtract? Let us give you an inspirational idea that mainly depends on using Lego pieces.

Subtraction is one of the different mathematical operations that the kids get to learn after they are introduced to math and counting numbers. Usually, the process of learning starts with teaching the kids addition before it all comes to subtraction and doing the reverse method (Inverse Operations).

Let us all agree on one important thing, which is the fact that kids come to learn more when they are interested in the method or the technique used and that is exactly when Lego turns out to be one effective tool or method for parents to depend on when it comes to teaching their kids math.

There are other words used for subtraction, such as minus and takeaway, and this is one important thing to teach the kids for them to know what they are supposed to do no matter what the question they need to answer or the problem they are going to solve is asking them to do.

The whole idea behind this educational lesson which depends on playing with Lego is teaching the kids to subtract by counting the dots found on every single Lego piece. All that is needed in this method or game is a whiteboard, a whiteboard pen, the Lego board and the different Lego pieces.

The parent will be the one putting down the equation that needs to be solved – every single number could be created using more than one Lego piece – and then the kid will need to solve the equation. When the kid finishes answering the questions and solving the mathematical equation, the parent should ask him/her to write the equation down on the whiteboard. Some kids will choose to draw the whole thing down, this is acceptable, but to keep them recognizing the numbers, they should ask them to write it once again using the numbers, and this is what we refer to as “number recognition”.

## Fun Educational Math Games for kids

There are lots and lots of ways to try to teach your child subtraction or math in general, if you are fed up with Lego, you could then depend on Play-Doh for example (Play-Doh). Creativity has no end and the more creative the parent could get, the more ways they will end up finding to educate their kids and teach them math (Mental Math Games).

We have lots of other educational videos which kids could learn subtraction from, in these videos, we have tried making the whole thing appear much easier. We have those mental math tricks which kids could use to learn how to subtract (Mental Math), we also have another subtraction method which depends on the Lego pieces as well but which is played in a different manner (Subtraction Games) and there is also the method of counting some items or objects and then asking the kids to take away or subtract, which will eventually teach them subtraction and how it should be done (Addition and Subtraction).

We could say that there is no end to the ways that parents could use while homeschooling their kids to teach them math, all they have to do is pay close attention to how the kids are taking the whole thing in because any mistake in the middle of the road could keep the kids making problems later on when it comes to subtraction.

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, are all different mathematical operations which the kids get to learn when it comes to numbers and math in general, and they are attached and thus will help the kids to understand how to subtract when they are already familiar with addition, and so on.

Did your kid enjoy learning to subtract by depending on Lego and playing with it? This is just the beginning of the fun because the more challenges they face and solve, the more fun they will end up having.

Help your child to explore the key concepts of numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in math. Spelling, reading, writing and grammar in English. Help them to develop their imagination and creativity with crafts and to explore a range of skills to cook, bake and create tasty treats and snacks.

Easy-to-follow activities will support you and your child to learn and practice new concepts as well as enjoy spending time together. Help your child to progress and explore and most importantly – have fun!

## Benefits of Using Manipulatives and Hands-on Games for Math Learning

Manipulatives and hands-on games are powerful tools for enhancing math learning and engagement in children of all ages. These interactive learning methods offer a multitude of benefits compared to traditional, textbook-based approaches. Here’s a breakdown of the key advantages:

1. Building Concrete Understanding:

Abstract to Concrete: Math concepts can be abstract and challenging for young learners. Manipulatives and hands-on games provide a concrete way to represent and interact with these concepts, making them more tangible and easier to understand.

Visualization and Spatial Reasoning: Manipulatives like blocks, counters, and number lines help children visualize numbers, operations like addition and subtraction, and spatial relationships between quantities.

Deeper Connections: Engaging with manipulatives allows children to actively explore and experiment with math concepts, fostering a deeper understanding and connection to the underlying principles.

2. Fostering the Development of Essential Skills:

Problem-Solving Skills: Hands-on activities often involve challenges and problem-solving opportunities. Children learn to approach problems strategically, think critically, and experiment with different solutions, building valuable problem-solving skills.

Critical Thinking and Reasoning: Manipulatives and hands-on games encourage children to analyze, compare, and make connections between different representations of math concepts, fostering critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Fine Motor Skills and Hand-Eye Coordination: Manipulating objects like blocks and counters helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, which are essential for various learning tasks and activities.

3. Increased Engagement and Motivation:

Active Learning: Hands-on activities are inherently engaging and interactive, making learning more fun and enjoyable. This can improve motivation and participation, especially for learners who struggle with traditional methods.

Kinesthetic Learning: Some children learn best through movement and exploration. Manipulatives and hands-on games cater to kinesthetic learners, allowing them to learn by doing and actively engaging with the material.

Positive Learning Environment: Engaging activities create a positive and stimulating learning environment, fostering a love of learning and a positive attitude towards math.

4. Differentiation and Individualized Learning:

Catering to Diverse Learning Styles: Hands-on activities cater to various learning styles, allowing children with different learning preferences to access and grasp concepts in a way that resonates with them.

Supporting Diverse Learners: Manipulatives can be particularly helpful for children with learning difficulties or disabilities, providing alternative learning pathways and promoting inclusion.

Adapting Difficulty: Hands-on activities can be easily adapted to different skill levels, allowing educators or parents to tailor the complexity of the activity to meet the individual needs of each child.

5. Building a Foundation for Future Learning:

Strong Conceptual Understanding: By building a strong foundation through manipulatives and hands-on games, children develop a deeper understanding of math concepts, which prepares them for more complex learning in the future.

Confidence and Self-Esteem: Successfully completing hands-on activities and overcoming challenges can boost children’s confidence in their math abilities, fostering a positive self-esteem towards learning.

Transferable Skills: The problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills developed through hands-on activities are transferable to other subjects and aspects of life, equipping children with valuable skills for lifelong learning success.

## Importance of Making Math Practice Fun, Especially for Subtraction

Subtraction can be a challenging concept for young learners, often leading to frustration and resistance towards practicing these skills. Making math practice fun and engaging is crucial for promoting positive learning experiences and fostering a love of math. Here’s why:

1. Increased Engagement and Motivation:

Fun activities spark curiosity and intrinsic motivation: When math practice is presented in a fun and playful way, it becomes enjoyable, and children are more likely to be actively engaged in learning.

Positive associations with math: Fun experiences create positive associations with math, fostering a growth mindset and encouraging children to embrace challenges and persevere through difficulties.

Active participation and exploration: Fun activities often involve active participation and exploration, promoting deeper engagement with the material and fostering a sense of ownership over the learning process.

2. Effective Learning and Retention:

Improved focus and concentration: Fun activities can hold children’s attention for longer periods, leading to improved focus and concentration during practice, which is crucial for effective learning.

Enhanced memory and recall: When learning is associated with positive emotions and enjoyment, it becomes more memorable, and children are better able to recall concepts and apply them in different contexts.

Reduced anxiety and frustration: Fun activities can help alleviate anxiety and frustration often associated with challenging concepts like subtraction, creating a more relaxed and open learning environment.

3. Building a Positive Math Attitude:

Overcoming negative perceptions: Fun activities can help overcome negative perceptions about math that may have developed due to past experiences.

Developing a lifelong love of learning: By fostering a positive attitude towards math early on, children are more likely to develop a lifelong love of learning and remain curious and engaged with mathematical concepts throughout their lives.

Increased confidence and self-esteem: Successfully completing fun and engaging math activities can boost children’s confidence in their abilities and foster a positive self-esteem towards math.

Specific Strategies for Making Subtraction Fun:

Incorporate games and activities: Utilize games with manipulatives, songs about subtraction, or online interactive games to make practice engaging and interactive.

Connect subtraction to real-world scenarios: Encourage children to apply subtraction in everyday situations like sharing toys or calculating how many cookies are left after eating some.

Use storytelling and role-playing: Create stories or role-playing scenarios that involve subtraction, making the practice relevant and relatable.

Celebrate progress and effort: Acknowledge and celebrate any improvements, even small ones, to foster motivation and encourage continued effort.

## Connecting Math Games to Math Standards Across Grade Levels

While math games are inherently fun and engaging, they can also serve a deeper purpose: aligning with and reinforcing math standards set by various curriculum frameworks. Here’s how some popular math games connect to specific math standards across different grade levels:

Early Childhood (Ages 3-5):

Sorting and Matching Games: These games help children develop number sense by recognizing and comparing quantities, laying the groundwork for future understanding of addition and subtraction. (Standards: CCSS K.CC.A.3, K.CC.B.4)

Counting Games: Singing songs, playing with counting toys, or using counting apps can help children develop number recognition and sequencing skills (Standards: CCSS K.CC.A.1, K.CC.B.1)

Kindergarten (Ages 5-6):

Roll and Add/Subtract Dice Games: These games provide practice with basic addition and subtraction facts within 10, building fluency and foundational skills for more complex calculations. (Standards: CCSS K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.5)

Domino Matching Games: Matching dominoes by number or sum helps with number recognition and composing and decomposing numbers, key concepts for understanding addition and subtraction. (Standards: CCSS K.NBT.A.1, K.NBT.A.2)

Place Value Board Games: Games involving moving tokens based on place value digits reinforce understanding of place value concepts (tens and ones) and counting strategies beyond 10. (Standards: CCSS 1.NBT.B.2, 2.NBT.A.1)

Fraction Games: Matching fraction cards, sorting objects by fractions, or playing fraction-based board games introduce and solidify early fraction concepts like halves, quarters, and thirds. (Standards: CCSS 1.G.A.3, 2.G.A.3)

Multiplication and Division Bingo: These games provide practice with multiplication and division facts, promoting fluency and building connections between these operations. (Standards: CCSS 3.OA.C.7, 4.OA.C.5)

Math Charades: Acting out math problems or concepts encourages students to explain their thinking and communicate mathematical ideas, fostering problem-solving skills and mathematical reasoning. (Standards: CCSS MP1, MP6)

Algebraic Reasoning Games: Games involving logic puzzles, codebreaking activities, or balancing equations can introduce students to algebraic concepts like variables, expressions, and equations in a fun and engaging way. (Standards: CCSS 6.EE.B.5, 7.EE.B.4)

Geometry Games: Tangram puzzles, building geometric shapes with manipulatives, or playing online symmetry games can help students visualize and understand geometric concepts like angles, shapes, and spatial reasoning. (Standards: CCSS 6.G.A.1, 7.G.A.1)

Important Note:

This is not an exhaustive list, and numerous other math games can be aligned with various math standards across different grade levels.

The specific standards and their complexity will vary depending on the chosen curriculum framework and the specific grade level.

It’s essential to consider the learning objectives of the game and ensure it aligns with the intended learning goals for the students.

## Tips for Parents and Teachers: Facilitating and Guiding Math Games Effectively

Math games can be powerful tools for learning and engagement, but to maximize their effectiveness, it’s crucial for parents and teachers to facilitate and guide them strategically. Here are some key tips:

1. Setting Clear Expectations and Goals:

Understand the learning objectives: Before starting the game, ensure you understand the specific math skills or concepts the game aims to reinforce.

Communicate expectations: Clearly explain the rules of the game, expected behavior, and the overall learning goals to the students or children playing.

2. Active Participation and Scaffolding:

Play along: Don’t just observe; actively participate in the game. This allows you to model problem-solving strategies, provide support when needed, and keep the energy level high.

Scaffolding learning: Start with simpler versions of the game and gradually increase the difficulty as players become more comfortable. Offer hints, prompts, or differentiated instructions as needed to support individual learning.

3. Encouraging Discussion and Reflection:

Ask thought-provoking questions: Throughout the game, ask questions that prompt players to explain their thinking, justify their answers, and connect the game concepts to broader mathematical ideas.

Encourage peer interaction: Facilitate discussions among players, allowing them to explain their strategies to each other and learn from different perspectives.

Reflect on the learning experience: After the game, take a few minutes to discuss the key concepts practiced, the challenges faced, and the learning takeaways for everyone involved.

4. Adapting Games to Different Needs:

Differentiation: Differentiate the game based on the players’ skill levels. This may involve providing additional support for struggling learners or offering additional challenges for advanced players.

Multiple representations: Use multiple representations (e.g., manipulatives, visuals, drawings) to explain concepts and cater to diverse learning styles.

Incorporate technology: Utilize educational apps or online games that complement the physical games and offer additional practice opportunities.

5. Maintaining a Positive and Encouraging Environment:

Celebrate effort and participation: Acknowledge and praise all players for their effort, participation, and willingness to learn, regardless of the outcome of the game.

Focus on the learning journey: Emphasize the importance of learning from mistakes and encourage players to view challenges as opportunities to grow and improve.

Maintain a positive and patient attitude: Create a fun and supportive learning environment where players feel comfortable making mistakes, asking questions, and taking risks.

1. What are the benefits of using manipulatives and hands-on games for teaching math?

Manipulatives and hands-on games offer numerous benefits, including:

• Building concrete understanding of math concepts
• Fostering development of essential skills like problem-solving and critical thinking
• Increasing engagement and motivation for learning
• Catering to diverse learning styles and supporting individualized learning
• Building a strong foundation for future learning

2. How can I make math practice fun, especially for challenging concepts like subtraction?

Here are some tips:

• Incorporate games and activities: Utilize games with manipulatives, songs, or online interactive games.
• Connect subtraction to real-world scenarios: Encourage children to apply subtraction in everyday situations.
• Use storytelling and role-playing: Create stories or scenarios involving subtraction.
• Celebrate progress and effort: Acknowledge and celebrate any improvements, even small ones.

3. How can I connect these math games to the math standards being taught in school?

• Consult your child’s curriculum or talk to their teacher to understand the specific math standards they are focusing on.
• Choose games that align with those standards and reinforce the targeted concepts.
• Remember, the specific standards and their complexity will vary depending on the grade level.

4. How can I effectively facilitate and guide math games at home?

Here are some tips:

• Set clear expectations and goals.
• Actively participate and provide scaffolding.
• Encourage discussion and reflection.
• Adapt games to different needs.
• Maintain a positive and encouraging environment.

## Conclusion

Making math learning fun and engaging is essential for fostering a love of the subject, building strong conceptual understanding, and equipping children with essential skills for success. By incorporating manipulatives, hands-on games, and engaging activities into your teaching approach, you can create a positive and stimulating learning environment where children can explore math concepts with joy and confidence. Remember, the journey of learning is just as important as the destination, so embrace the fun and celebrate the learning process along the way!

Have you found this interesting? Why not check our articles about Math for kids: Addition Math Game, Mental Math Strategies, and Are You a Mathemagician.