Activities & Lessons

3 Math Activities for Preschoolers: Addends Worksheets

4 Min Read
July Misc Math

It's time to teach addends!

What is an addend, you ask? In math, it’s each of the numbers that are being added together to get a sum. If you have the equation 2+3=5, 2 and 3 are your addends. As an early learning educator, this may be a concept you tackle at some point in the school year!

To help you explain addends or number partners to your students, use these three fun activities from HMH’s Math Expressions Early Learning Resources program.

Activity: Farm Animals

Part I: Each pair of children needs the What Do I See at the Farm? card. Ask children to look at the animals on the farm.

  • Let’s all look at the farm. Who can tell me what you see at the farm? Possible responses: I see a barn; some animals; I see a tree and a fence.
  • Look at the different animals. What can you tell me about the animals? Possible responses: I see big and little horses. Here, there are big and little pigs. Oh, the sheep are all the same size. There’s one big brown horse here. There’s another big horse. I don’t know what to call the color.
  • I see that big horse, too. The color could be called golden. Let’s everyone say, “The big horse is golden.”
  • Who can find partners of 2? Possible response: I can! I found 1 big brown horse and 1 big golden horse.
  • Great! You found partners of 2, 1 and 1. Now let’s try partners of 3.
  • [Malik], tell me about your partners of 3. Possible response: There’s 1 little pink pig and 2 big pink pigs.
  • Everyone check that [Malik] found partners of 3. Is 1 little pink pig and 2 big pink pigs correct? Yes.
  • Who can find partners of 4? Possible response: I found 1 big chicken and 3 little chickens.
  • Describe partners. Have individual children continue to describe partners of numbers 2 to 4 that they see on the card. Ask other children to determine if the partners are correct. Encourage everyone to use full descriptive sentences in talking about what they see.
  • Check understanding. As children identify partners, observe if they are able to name two partners of 4.

Part II: Each pair of children needs the What Do I See at the Farm? card. Ask children to look at the animals on the farm.

  • Let’s all say, “What do I see at the farm?”
  • Together, look for partners in the picture. Then talk about the partners of numbers you see.
  • Children work in pairs as they look for groups of 1 to 4 animals and/or partners of 2 to 4 and respond, “I see . . .” (says the number of animals or partners of numbers that the animals make). Ask children to try finding partners of a number. The other children determine if the statement is correct, and display the corresponding purple Number Tile. Continue until everyone has had a turn, and encourage children to talk about anything else they see on the farm.

Part III: Show children the Color Partners of 4 worksheet. Have them look at the page and talk about what they see.

  • What do you see on the page? Possible responses: barn; animals; 2 big cows; 4 ducks in the pond
  • Let’s all look at the ducks. Who can tell me how to use your crayons to color partners of 4? Possible responses: Make 1 duck yellow and 3 ducks brown; Color 2 yellow and 2 brown.
  • Continue guiding children until they understand how to color the page independently at home or at their desks.

Activity: Cones

Directions: This is a fun and memorable way for children to see and show partners of 5. Before the activity, photocopy this downloadable worksheet onto two different colors of paper: blue and yellow, for example. Cut out the cone templates and tape them to form cones.

During the activity, discuss the shape with children.

  • Where have you seen a shape like this before? Possible responses: ice cream cone; party hat. This shape is called a cone. Say that word with me: cone.
  • Children take turns showing partners of 5 by placing the cones on their fingers. For example, one child might have 2 blue cones and 3 yellow cones. As a child puts cones on all 5 fingers, another can say, for example, “5 has partners of 2 and 3.” The partners can be on adjacent fingers or separated. The partners they can show are: 2 and 3, 3 and 2, 4 and 1, 1 and 4.

Activity: Snack Time

Each pair of children needs one What Do I See at Snack Time? card.

  • Today, we have a special picture to talk about. When you look at it, you can find partners of any number. What do you see on this picture? Possible responses: carrot sticks; sandwiches; apple pieces; Everything is on plates on tables. Oh, I think it looks like snack time!
  • Let’s find numbers of snacks or partners that you see in this picture. Let’s find partners of numbers 2 and 3, but let’s especially look for partners of numbers 4 and 5.
  • And, let’s all say: What do I see at snack time?
  • Together, look for partners of numbers in the picture. Then, talk about the partners of numbers you see.
  • Ask children to share the partners they found and have other children check that the number partners are correct.

Show children this worksheet and explain that they can use their crayons to color partners of 5.


Learn more about HMH's Math Expressions Early Learning Resources program, which helps children make sense of math by exploring, discussing, and demonstrating their understanding of key concepts.

Get our FREE guide "Optimizing the Math Classroom: 6 Best Practices."

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