Repeated Subtraction 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 repeated subtraction as a strategy for division. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Repeated Subtraction topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching Repeated Subtraction

Divide and Counter
Divide students into small groups and give each group a set of counters. You may want to divide the small groups into twos, threes, fours, or fives. Then have each group divide the counters equally among them. Be sure each group comes up with a division sentence, solves the problem, and checks over their work for accuracy. Then groups can swap counters and repeat the activity. Make sure that every group gets a set that can be divided equally among the members.

Finding Your Fact Family

Write a division or multiplication fact on name tags and give one to each student in the class. Then have them mingle and find the other members in their fact family—without talking. So a student with the nametag 8 x 3 = 24 must find the other three members of the family: 3 x 8 = 24, 24 ÷ 3 = 8, 24 ÷ 8 = 3. Then repeat the activity, this time using number sentences that do not feature the product or quotient. Have members of the fact family come up with the answers to their number sentences.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Repeated Subtraction

Share and Share Alike

At mealtimes, have your child divide dishes or snacks equally among family members. You may want to set up dolls, toys, or other props to act as additional members. For example, give your child 24 raisins and have him or her divide them equally among 4 family members and write a number sentence to solve. Then, have your child distribute the snacks for everyone to enjoy.


Using sidewalk chalk, have your child draw a long number line. Then pose different division sentences, such as 18 ÷ 3. Have your child solve by standing on 18 and jumping back by 3s over and over again until he or she gets to 0. Be sure your child keeps track of how many times he or she jumps back. Repeat the activity with other number sentences, redrawing or adding on to the number line as needed.