Year 1 Maths


coin addition

Get Ready

Gather 10 objects such as pennies, buttons, blocks or pebbles. Put some of the objects in one pile and some in another pile (when you start out, you don't need to use all the objects). Draw a large plus sign (+) on a slip of paper and place it between the two piles. Tell your child that you are going to play an addition game.


Have your child count how many pennies are in each of the two piles and have her tell you how many there are in each. Now tell her that you are going to add the two piles to make one pile because addition is putting two groups of things together. Point to the plus sign between the two piles to show what you will do. Then put the two piles together. Ask your child to count the pennies and tell you how many there are now in the single pile.

Talk and Think

After you make the new pile, ask:

Repeat this activity several times with different-sized piles so your child can practise adding various combinations up to ten.

Go a Little Further

Ask your child to do some simple addition mentally. Here's how: display two groups of pennies that contain just one or two pennies each. Have your child count the pennies in each pile. Ask her to put both groups into a bag. Close the bag. Ask her to tell you how many pennies are in the bag. No peeking! Then she can open the bag and count the new group to check her answer. Repeat this several times with different-sized piles.

This activity is adapted from page 223 of What Your Year 1 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.

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