With school starting back up very soon for many of us, I thought it would be fun to create a few back to school themed math practice activities for our students to practice getting back into the swing of things. These fun addition strips are a fantastic way to practice counting and simple addition up to 5.

Back to School Addition for Math Practice

Age: 4+
Pinterest Board: Back to School

Why use our Back to School Addition Strips? 

Addition strips like these are a great way to practice simple math. These cards can be used in a Montessori environment. They can also easily be used to create hands-on activities or as worksheets.

How to prepare your math practice activities

Here is a simple list of materials that you can use to create a hands-on aspect to your addition strips. However, you can always opt NOT to cut apart the cards and use them as worksheets. The following suggestions are just that! Suggestions! You can use these printables in whichever creative ways you see appropriate for your students’ needs.

What you need

  • Back to School Addition Printables
  • Durable paper or cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Laminating machine (optional, but recommended for long-term use)
  • Manipulative, such as beads, crayons, pom poms, etc
  • Optional: Tray and bowls for presenting the activity

We tend to laminate our addition strips. This allows my students to practice writing the numbers on the sheets. By laminating the strips, we get multiple uses out of them.

Related: Have a look at our Back to School Number Clip Cards

You could also opt to add velcro dots to the laminated strips for children to add the corresponding number square. This also allows for multiple uses.


Ideas for Using Back to School Addition Strips

I present the strips cut apart and on a tray. We use Montessori beads here, but any manipulative will do. I love to use these cards in combination with our Montessori beads set. I like that they are a visual way to see the quantities. Additionally, children also enjoy the process of touching the beads and feeling them as they count. It all creates a very sensory rich work.

However, do note that this is not a traditional Montessori activity. I created these types of addition activities for my son who was so interested in math and was just asking me to give him more and more challenges. This was perfect for our needs at the time, when he was 4.

Especially with children who are just beginning with addition or who need the extra math practice, a manipulative will help to reinforce the concept.  They allow children to count out exactly what they are doing. They can see how much each number quantity is, which helps them to grasp the concept of addition. This is great for practicing different aspects of math and addition for early learners.

I use our 3 Part Card tray that my husband made for me here. However, any tray that will allow you to present the different components neatly is great! I present the beads in a bowl to prevent them from moving everywhere.

There are several alternative ways to use these cards:

  • Laminate the printables. Present them with a dry erase marker and eraser. Have your students write in the correct answer.
  • Laminate the printables. Add velcro dots to the answers and the empty spaces. The child can add the answer.
  • Laminate the printables. Glue the answer squares onto clothespins. Have your students put a clothespin with the correct answer on the cards.
  • Have the students place the correct quantity of manipulatives on the answer square.

Get your set of Back to School Addition Strips


  • 21 Addition Strips
  • Instructions for use

Download Printables long

Back to School Addition Strips 

More Math Activities