# Adding Decimals for Kids | Free Printable

0 Shares

In this article, I will show you procedures for adding decimals for kids. Adding three-digit numbers doesn’t seem to be a difficult concept for many children. Make it subtraction, and we create some difficulty. But add a decimal and it can throw some kiddos for a loop. As in teaching any concept, it is important to build that background knowledge of what decimals are before we begin to introduce adding and subtracting.

Just as we want our younger ones to understand what the one’s place is versus the tens place, our upper elementary children need to understand the difference between tenths and hundredths.

Our children will be able to learn how to add decimals very easily and interactively with the help of this game. This approach is quite successful.

This method should assist your young champ in learning basic math operations and laying a solid calculating foundation. ## Manipulatives to Introduce Decimals

My favorite way to introduce decimals is with base ten blocks. Since decimals are based on tenths and hundredths, base ten blocks are easy to use. The important part is to change what one equals. When working with young children we know that a cube always equals one. Now we may say that a flat or 100 cubes equal one.

With that change, our longs equal 10ths….it takes 10 of them to equal the whole. And our cubes equal 100ths…..as you now need 100 cubes to equal a whole. Using base ten blocks and money at the same time is another way to build connections. If our flat still equals one, it can also equal one dollar. The longs are the same as dimes, and the cubes are pennies.

Now comes the fun part, letting children add and subtract with the manipulatives. Let’s say we have the problem 1.3 + .45. The biggest mistake children make is not lining the decimals up correctly, but if we begin our unit focusing on the place value of each number this mistake won’t happen quite as much.

Begin by asking the children to take out 1.3 bases ten blocks (a flat and three longs), then have them get out .45 (four longs and five cubes.) Now all they have to do is count them up. They have one flat, seven longs, and five cubes. That equals 1.75.

Subtraction

Subtraction isn’t that much harder when the focus is on modeling. If our problem is 1.8 – .43 all we have to do is take out one flat and three longs. The children should begin by realizing that they can not take away three hundredths, because there aren’t any.

Hopefully, they have a basis in subtraction with regrouping and know that all they need to do is substitute one long for 10 cubes. Now all they have to do is take away three cubes and four longs.

With that done, they will realize that they have 1 flat, 3 longs, and 7 cubes to equal 1.37. With that foundation down, it is time for an addition and subtraction game.

Prep Work

• First, print off game boards, BINGO sheets, and decimal problems. To make them front and back print use page 9.
• Grab game markers and a calculator. ## Directions

• First, children place a game marker on the yellow star. The children roll the die and then move to the left.
• If they land on a number square, nothing happens.
• When they land on a picture they draw a decimal card and solve the problem. The other player checks it with the calculator, and if they solved it correctly they will get another chance to roll the die.
• The player who cannot solve the problem correctly, will remain in the same square and pass the die to the next player.
• Players take turns and go around the board until the end box.