Adding To & Taking From


Your child’s must first develop an understanding of addition and subtraction. Help him as you play!

Your preschooler will not have pages of addition problems to solve, but she does need to develop an understanding of addition! The same is true of subtraction.

How do you talk about adding and subtracting with a 4-year old? Use simple language and real-life situations! Addition is adding to. Subtraction is taking from.

If we have three baseballs and add two more, how many baseballs do we have all together? Three baseballs added to two baseballs means we now have five baseballs!

Next, talk about subtraction with your child. Count out four blocks. What if we take from this group? Let’s take away two blocks. Then, we only have two blocks left!

Set up these types of “adding to” and “taking from” stories in your play. Don’t have any toys around? Just use your fingers!


Pre-Kindergarten Common Core Standards

Operations & Algebraic Thinking: Understanding addition as adding to, and understand subtraction as taking from.

(PK.OA.1) Demonstrate an understanding of addition and subtraction by using objects, fingers, and responding to practical situations (e.g., If we have 3 apples and add two more, how many apples do we have all together?)