Skip to main content Skip to main content

Brick Playbook: Parent Edition

It All Adds Up

Use bricks to practice adding three or more numbers.

Child will be able to add three numbers using objects and regrouping.

Essential Question(s):
What strategies can you use to add multiple numbers together?

Special Materials:
A deck of cards without the kings, queens, and jacks; pencil and paper

Bricks Required:
Each group of 3 students will need 9 2×2 bricks of three colors

Project Structure


  1. Point out that grouping them is a helpful way of adding things together, because you don’t have to worry about a lot of numbers at once.
    1. Let the child know they will be practicing this today with playing cards and bricks.


  1. Hand out bricks and a deck of cards (can be half a deck of cards or less, as long as it has at least one of every number but no kings, queens, or jacks).
  2. Have child draw a card, then count out and stack together bricks of one color for the number on that card.
  3. Next, child adds together two of the stacks by attaching them and counting. They should write down their work. Have them add the third stack and note that in their work as well.
  4. Ask child to separate out the stacks again, and add the third number to one of the first two, again noting their work, followed by adding the remaining number. The idea is for them to see that they come up with the same number, no matter the order they add them in.
  5. Child should write down how they do the grouping and then try it again adding two other stacks first. They should look for the times when two of the numbers add up to ten and add those first.
  6. Have child repeat the exercise a few times.