In kindergarten, some kids are ready to learn basic addition. But usually, they don’t want to sit still for worksheets and have trouble comprehending the abstract of written numbers. Using a combination of paper, pom poms, and some magnetic or foam letters, you can help young kids visualize addition right before their eyes. This particular set is apple-themed, because who doesn’t love apples for back to school? Use red and green pom poms for “apples” or if you happen to have apple erasers, use those!

Tools you’ll need

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Don’t worry about making a special trip to the store. You can get all the supplies for this activity right here. Click the pictures above to get what you need.

Kindergarten kids will love adding the apples!

The set-up for this addition activity is super simple. Cut a piece of green paper into two tree-like shapes. You could add a trunk to the tree with brown paper if you want to get super fancy, but it isn’t necessary. Have 10 green pom poms and 10 red pom poms to let the kids experiment with.

I used two different colors to show that it was two numbers that we’re counting together, making a total sum. Yay math!

Place a plus sign between the two trees, then place a number of red pom poms on one tree and a number of green on the other. Have the kids count one side, then the other, then count them together. You can explain that counting two numbers together is called addition.

If kids aren’t quite ready to add, you can also use this activity to help kids see which number is larger, by showing the numbers beside the same number of pom poms. It’s much easier to see that 5 is more than 2 this way and kids will love counting and guessing which number is bigger.

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