It’s so important for young learners to really UNDERSTAND addition and subtraction! They need to SEE it, TOUCH it, SMELL it (sorry, got carried away)! But seriously, hands-on activities in early math are truly mandatory in preschool, kindergarten, and even beyond. Check out the FREE Marshmallow Addition Math Mats for Kindergarten to help support your students’ understanding of addition problems. All you need to do is print, cut, and protect the free printable.

marshmallow addition mats

Recommended Grade Level:

Marshmallow Addition Mat Supplies:

  • Printer/Ink
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Marshmallow Cereal
  • Dry Erase Marker

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How to Teach Addition in Kindergarten



We want to expose children to addition in kindergarten so they can begin mastering the basic facts in first grade. However, there are some prerequisite skills that should be in place before delving into that addition practice in kindergarten.

Place it at the math center, work with small groups, turn it into a game, or put another spin on it! These work mats are super versatile, and will meet the needs of all learners!

This activity was designed with a yummy marshmallow cereal in mind. However, mini erasers, buttons, beads, or other countable objects also work!

Here are the facts included in this free printable math addition worksheet for kindergarten: 10+1, 10+5, 2+8, 7+3, 4+6, 5+5, 8+1, 3+6, 2+6, 4+4, 7+0, 2+5, 4+2, 1+5, 4+1, 3+2, 4+0, 2+1, 1+1, 1+0.

Prerequisite skills for addition include:

  • Count fluently to at least 20
  • Count groups of objects up to 20
  • Recognize numerals 0-20
  • Match numbers with a group of objects
  • Write the numerals 1-20

When those skills are in place, pull out the addition math centers for kindergarten!

The free marshmallow addition math mats for the numbers “6” and

What Can Kindergarteners Learn While Adding With Marshmallows?



Addition mats area great way for children to SEE the concept of adding in action. This helps them develop number sense and other important skills:

  • Counting on
  • Subitizing
  • One-to-one corresondence
  • Number writing
The free marshmallow addition math mat for the number “10”.

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn Basic Math Facts?

Fluency and automaticity with basic facts provides a solid foundation for students, making them ready for more complex tasks.

Number Sense

Playing math games improves number sense which is the ability to understand, compare/contrast, and relate numbers to each other.


Encouraging kids to use math vocabulary while playing games (sum/difference/total/greater than/less than)is a meaningful way to practice.


When children effortlessly (automatically) know basic math facts, it makes more complex computations easier.

Cooperative Learning

Simple games with partners or small groups give kids a lot of practice with social skills, like taking turns, following rules, and winning/losing.

Tools you’ll need

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.

How to Make The Marshmallow Addition Activity for Kindergarten

Step One:

Print and laminate the printable math mats for addition. Then, just decide how to use them with your students. There are multiple ways to make this work for a diverse bunch of learners!

Marshmallow Addition Free Printable

Step Two:

Each full-page printable includes two math mats. Cut the pages in half to limit it to one addition sentence per mat.

Free Printable Marshmallow Addition to 10 Mats

Step Three:

To play, students should read the math fact aloud. Then, add each number of marshmallows to the bowl. Finally, count the total number of marshmallows to find the sum. Write the sum under the line and repeat.

The free marshmallow addition math mat for the number “10”.

Step Four:

Remember those prerequisite skills mentioned above? If your students aren’t quite there yet, try this:

  • Instead of adding the numbers in the provided equation, pull it apart. Ask students to count objects into the bowl for the top number, then do the same for the bottom number. Finally, they can count the total number of objects.
  • Place the first number of objects INTO the bowl, then instruct students to place the second number ON the bowl to create separation. Then, push all the objects into the bowl and count the total.
The free marshmallow addition math mats for the numbers “10” and

Step Five:

Wondering about those students who can already add with a bit of ease? Try this:

  • Have the students start with the top number in their heads, then count the bottom by adding objects onto the mat to find the sum.
  • Try starting with the bigger number instead of the top number, to teach students a more effective addition strategy.
The free marshmallow addition math mat for the number “8”.

Number Bonds

Number bond mats show addition in a different way! When we take out the equation symbols and just show the relationship between the numbers, it can be very helpful for young learners. Students can roll a die or draw number cards to begin the bond, then add them up to complete it.

Number Stories

Turn any math worksheet or flash cards into an interactive story problem by asking students to take turns making up a story to go with each problem.

Dice Game

Roll and Add is a simple math game to practice addition problems in kindergarten. It requires a whiteboard, a dry erase marker, and two dice. Just roll the dice, write the math fact, and find the sum. Students can compete by getting a point for the student with the higher sum each round.

marshmallow addition mats
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