Today I’m sharing how we used rocks to create a super fun math manipulative and play this free subtraction matching game. So get some rocks & spray paint and get ready to create a manipulative that your kids will love!

– Life Over C's gold gem subtraction matching game

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Gold Gem Subtraction Matching Game

  • Paper
  • Laminating Materials
  • Paper Cutter
  • Rocks
  • Gold Spray Paint

To make the gold rocks:

I purchased my rocks, but you can use any smooth rocks that you find. Lay the rocks outside on a paper bag or cardboard.

Spray one side of the rocks with the gold spray paint.

Wait for them to dry and then turn them over and spray the opposite side.

– Life Over C's This free subtraction matching game is perfect to use with "gold" rocks as manipulatives! Dig for gold and practice subtraction at the same time!

To prep the free subtraction matching game:

Print and laminate.

Cut apart the cards.

– Life Over C's This free subtraction matching game is perfect to use with "gold" rocks as manipulatives! Dig for gold and practice subtraction at the same time!

I use scrapbooking paper to print all of my games so that the kids can’t see through the cards. It also makes the games a bit more fun-looking. We started off my using the rocks in a sensory bin full of black beans. Jaida dug for gold to represent the pictures on the cards.

– Life Over C's This free subtraction matching game is perfect to use with "gold" rocks as manipulatives! Dig for gold and practice subtraction at the same time!

Today we were working only with the 10s facts, but you could mix them up or choose a different set, depending on what you want to practice. All subtraction facts for 10-1 are included, except 1-0= (I didn’t want to have to print an extra page just for one fact.)

After she worked all the way through the 10s facts, we played a game of Memory with the subtraction problems and gems cards.

She beat me.

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– Life Over C's gold gem subtraction matching game
– Life Over C's Click to Get your printable activity here

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Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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