3-6 Math Album – Addition Snake Game



To familiarize the child with all the possible number combinations that make ten.
To give practice in memorising addition.


Five colored bead stairs (1 – 9) in a box.
Twenty-five golden ten bars in a box.
A set of 1 to 9 black and white bead stair in a black and white box.
A red felt mat. A small notched card (‘bridge’).
A box or tray to hold the bars of the colored stair removed from the snake after they have been counted (the empty black and white bead stair box may be used for this).


At a table, unroll a small mat and introduce the material laying them out in order at the top of the mat (box of tens, box of colored bead bars, black and white box).
Build the black and white stair in the upper right hand corner.
Place the notched card below the stair.
State the use of the card, “This card is to mark where we finished counting.”
Make a colored snake which will come out even in tens (one of each bead bar plus an extra five).
Close the box.
The bead bars are placed at random, touching in a zigzag pattern.
Change the colored snake to a golden one by counting to 10.
Place the notched card on the right side of the tenth bead.
Place a ten bar directly above the counted beads.
Use the black and white bead bars to represent the remaining beads.
Count remaining beads on the bead bar.
Place the corresponding black and white bar above the counted beads.
Remove the card and place the counted colored bead bars into the empty black and white box.
Join up the snake.
When counting the next ten beads begin with the black and white bar, if there was a remainder.
Repeat the above process until all the bars have been counted.
Count the ten bars.
Arrange the ten bars side by side at the left.
Remove the colored bead bars from the black and white box – arrange in diminishing size from left to right in the center.
Isolate a ten bar in the center of the mat; make a matching ten using colored bead bars beginning with the largest, ie. 9 + 1.
Repeat until all the tens and colored bead bars are matched.

Exercise 1: The child uses any combination of colored bead bars to make the snake.
Use a black and white bar for any remaining colored beads less than 10.
When checking the child may need to change to make the appropriate combination – use the supply of colored bead bars in the box.
Note: use only two colored bead bars to make a ten.
Match one colored bead bar to the black and white bead bar in remainder.

Exercise 2: Isolating combinations.
After child has worked well with the snake game, proceed as before.
To count, pull down two bead bars isolating them at the bottom of the mat.
Count to 10 as above using the black and white bar for remainder.
Compare two sets of beads visually.
Place colored bars into box.
Move ten bar up into snake and pull down next colored bead bar.
If two bead bars are less than 10 exchange them for a black and white bar.
Proceed until snake is counted.
Check as above.

Exercise 3: Showing multiples – second check
Proceed as above, this time make a snake using a number of the same colored bead bars (choose three of your favourite numbers or colors).
To check – Arrange tens and remainder as before.
Arrange the colored bead bars horizontally, grouping like beads bars parallel to one another from left to right, in diminishing size.
Beginning with the largest set of colored bead bars, note how many there are in the set.
Count into tens – laying tens and remainder vertically below (use tens and colored bead supply).
Repeat this process for the other sets of colored beads.
Note: that there should be the same number of beads in each of the three areas.
Check by placing the tens (from colored beads) below the other tens (from the golden snake).
Change the remaining colored bars into tens.
Child counts top 10’s and the bottom 10’s to see if they match.


After each exercise the child is shown how to check the result.


5 – 6 years