Kindergarten Worksheets > Math/Number Awareness > Subtraction
Subtraction is a fundamental math skill that is considered a "partner" process to addition. Where addition teaches a child to add together two smaller groups of items to create one larger group, subtraction is all about dividing one larger group into two smaller groups. Once your child is comfortable with both addition and subtraction concepts, he will be poised to tackle the more advanced math concepts of multiplication and division, which are typically introduced in second or third grade. The following subtraction worksheets will challenge your child to complete a math equation by correctly reading the equation, completing the specified subtraction function, and then completing the equation by writing in the correct number.
Why I like subtraction worksheets
The bright, appealing pictures in these subtraction worksheets are ideal for helping children visualize the "taking away" action of subtraction. The pictures make this abstract concept concrete, as children can physically cross out the amount that is being subtracted and then point or touch each remaining picture to discover how many are left.
Tips for using these subtraction worksheets
The critical element of these subtraction worksheets is that they feature pictures for your child to count. In this way, you child can (and should) physically cross out each picture as he subtracts it. Then, to get the final answer to the subtraction equation, your child will only need to count the remaining (uncrossed-out) pictures.
Start by asking your child to count the total number of pictures in one square, and show him now that amount corresponds to the number below the pictures. Then ask your child to read the next number in the math equation and to subtract that amount of pictures by, one at a time, crossing out that many pictures from the total group of pictures. After you child has crossed out the correct number of pictures, he only needs to count the remaining pictures in the box and write that number at the end of the equation.
Extra activities to supplement these subtraction worksheets
- Give your child several pieces of candy. After he counts them, tell him how many he can eat. After eating, ask him to count the amount that is left and repeat the full number sentence, 9 minus 2 equals 7, for example.
- Use a number line to help your child visualize the subtraction process. Ask your child to point to a specific number on the line. Then tell him to “hop back” a certain number of spaces with his finger.
- Divide 10 cereal pieces into your child’s hands. Ask him to count how many pieces are in one hand and “subtract” them by putting them aside. Then ask your child to count the pieces are left in his second hand.
- Give your child a pile of books and count them together. Let him choose two or three to be read at bedtime. Once he picks, ask him to count how many books he has to “take away” from the beginning amount.
- Cut your child’s sandwich into four or six sections. Ask him to take away two or three sections by eating them. Then ask him how many pieces he has left to eat.
- Line up some shoes and ask your child to count them. Direct him to take away a specific amount and ask him to count how many are left. Have your child tell you the number sentence that describes the activity.
- Make a “step on” number line by using chalk on the sidewalk to mark off evenly spaced dots on a line, going from 1 to 15. Your child can “step on” a number and move back to subtract the amount you say.
- Put some beads on a long string. Have your child count the number of beads. Then ask him to “subtract” some by moving them off the string. Ask him to count how many beads are left.