Year 1 Maths problem solving guide and activities

At this age your children should be taught to:

  • Solve one-step problems that involve addition and subtraction, using concrete objects such as pictorial representations, and missing number problems such as 7 = _ – 9
  • Solve one step problems involving multiplication and division


Problem Solving Activities

Listed below are some ideas and games to help you children improve problem solving skills, which are taught in year 1 maths classes.

Fill In the Blanks

Use the following as model problems. Write additional problems and then erase or cover up a digit in each addend. Challenger your children to find the missing numbers. Do the same for subtraction problems.

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Attached is a work sheet of addition and subtraction problems for your children to work through.

Add It Up

Using the following boxes as models, write a number in each box. Have your children add across, down and diagonally.

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Your children can play this with a sibling or friend.  The objective of the game is to make the numbers in each row and column add up to 15. To play, make a 3-by-3 square and take turns writing numbers in a square. Your child will have to try and choose numbers to make each row and column add up to 15. You can use a number more than once.

Online Games

Year 1 maths can be challenging. Here are some online games that can help your child to practice problem solving skills.

Burying Bonesyear 1 maths

This game involves solving problems for a dog wanting to bury bones. The boy in the game will ask a problem and to solve it your children have to work out how many bones to put in the holes.



Dress the Dogyear 1 maths

This game follows the same format as the Buying Bones game. The boy will give your children a problem and your children have to solve the problem by dressing the dog in his coats and boots.




Power Lines year 1 maths

The power cells have been placed in the circles so that all the numbers in the same straight line add up to the power line total. Complete all eight levels and receive the password to unlock phase two.