Subtracting with Regrouping Activities for Kids

Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about subtraction and regrouping (or borrowing). These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Subtracting with Regrouping topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching About Subtracting with Regrouping

Number Cubes

Give pairs of students two number cubes or dice. Students can roll the dice to create a two-digit number. For example, if one lands on a 4 and the other lands on a 6, they can either write 46 or 64. Then they can roll one die for another number. Have them subtract the smaller number from the larger one. You may want students to use base-ten blocks or counters to help model the number sentence. Encourage them to write their number sentences down and use addition to check their work. Students can share their sentences with the class.

Number Stories

Have students write number stories that involve subtracting with regrouping. You may want to explain how they can tell if a number sentence requires regrouping. Encourage students to illustrate their stories. Then have students swap stories with each other and solve. Be sure they write clearly and check their work.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Subtracting with Regrouping


Read the sports section of a newspaper or a news website. Look at the scores of different games and have your child subtract to find out how many points the winning team scored over the opponent. Be sure to analyze points where your child must subtract a one-digit number from a two-digit number. Your child can write out the number sentence and solve. How do you know if you need to regroup? Discuss with your child.

General Store

Open a “general store” in your home. Choose small items to sell that are all under 10¢. Then give your child different sets of coins and have him or her buy things from the store. For example, your child might have 25¢ and wants to buy an eraser for 7¢. How much change should he or she get back? Have your child write out the number sentence and solve. Your child may want to use pennies as counters to check his or her work.