Fun Math Activities for First Graders

Math Activities with Boy with Down Syndrome

Math activities are a powerful way to reach kids of all learning styles. They are hands-on and playful, letting kids explore new concepts in different ways using active learning.

A good learning activity focuses on just one skill, so kids can give 100% attention to mastering it. Kids love a challenge, and they love to see their own improvement. Use the activities below to help first graders understand math concepts and practice new skills in fun ways.

Activities for First Grade Math

You can never have too many good math activities. The more specific an activity is, the easier it is to learn that skill. These hands-on first grade activities will give your child a running start in math.

Counting activities will help first graders review and strengthen skills in counting to 100. Kids will learn to count backwards, do skip counting, and use ordinal numbers (first, second, and so on).

Addition activities and subtraction activities help kids learn those ultra-important math facts and build a strong foundation for later skills.

Adding doubles activities takes this a step further by focusing on math facts like 4+4 or 8+8. A good mastery of these makes addition and subtraction a lot easier.

Comparing numbers activities (aka greater than/less than) helps kids understand how much numbers are worth in relation to each other.

Even and odd numbers can be tricky to learn. These activities will help kids get it.

Number sense activities give kids a practical understanding of how numbers work. You'll see a scattering of topics here, because number sense is all about integrating those other skills into everyday life.

Place value activities help kids understand how larger numbers work. First graders will need quite a bit of hands-on practice understanding ones, tens and hundreds, as this is a difficult concept.

My Child Understands the Concepts--Now What?

Math Dice

Math activities are great for helping kids understand new concepts, but they need to practice in order to master the skills. A child may know exactly what subtraction is all about, but not know the subtraction facts by heart.

The best way to get kids to willingly practice something over and over is to make it fun, so once kids have a handle on a concept, pull out the math games. These learning games let kids use the math in context, and will give them the practice and the confidence they need to master new skills.

Want to help kids get the most from math learning activities? You may find these tips on how to lead 1st grade math activities to be helpful.

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“Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself. ”
~John Dewey