Earth Day Math games – Plant a tree Addition/subtraction

Earth Day is around the corner and it is time for some earth day math games. Since it is Earth Day every day these games can be used very often. In a previous post, I shared Recycle Spin, a game to practice the multiplication and division facts. Today I would like to share a game to practice addition and subtraction one and two digits. This game is called “Plant a tree” and it can be played as a competitive or cooperative game.


  • A 10 face dice or playing cards/uno cards for the numbers to add or subtract.
  • game board
  • place markers, one for each player
  • color pencils or whiteboard markers one color for each player

How to play

The players need to collect a seed tile, a water tile, and a sun tile to plant a tree. They take turns rolling the dice which gives them a number to add or subtract to the number they are on. They start from number1. They roll the dice and add or subtract the number they got. You can use one dice and add/subtract one-digit numbers or roll two dice and add subtract two-digit numbers. You can use two colors dice, one for tens and one for ones, or give the choice to decide which number to use as tens/ones. This choice along with the choice to add or subtract when possible allows for a bit of strategy. If the players get a number too big both add or subtract, a number that takes them out of the table, they wait for their next turn. The players use the table to add or subtract. This makes the game low floor-high ceiling and allows all the students to participate.

More activities using 100grids and charts to add and subtract here

Once they land on a seed, wate or sun they circle it on the seed/water/sun rows below the table with their color of pencil/marker. They need to land/mark a seed, water and a sun in order to plant/mark a tree on the tree grid. They cannot mark a second seed, water, sun before they collect all three for one tree. The first player to mark 10 trees is the winner. The players mark their trees on the grid, each player takes one row.

We like to play this game in a cooperative/competitive way as well. The players take turns like above, however, they are allowed to mark seeds, water, and suns to complete another player’s tree and plant trees together as a team. Sometimes they compete with other teams. I give them a specific time for the game and the team that has planted the most trees wins. Playing the cooperative way encourages students to help each other in their calculations and in selecting whether to add or subtract.

Below is the game board to print

Here is the google slides version of the game. The google slides version uses a spinner instead of dice.

I hope you find this game useful.

Check out these ideas for an outdoor lesson perfect for earth day

Symmetry in nature

Math fitness

Fibonacci series in nature

Check out Recycle spin to practice the multiplication and division facts.