I Spy – Addition


The purpose of this activity is to help your child to develop instant recall of addition facts to 20.

Link to Number Framework:

Number Facts, Stage 5

What you need:

  • A pack of cards with the picture cards removed. Ace counts as 1; 40 cards in total.

What to do:

  • Deal out the cards in 10 rows of 4 or 5 rows of 8.
  • Players take turns to challenge the others. For example
    I spy two cards that add to 12
  • Players look for 2 cards next to each other, horizontally, vertically or diagonally, that add to the number specified.
  • The player that finds the combination collects the 2 cards. If the combination of cards cannot be found, the player who posed the ‘I Spy’ question takes the two cards.
  • If the player made an error and there is no such combination of cards, nobody collects any cards and the next player takes their turn.
  • As cards are removed, the remaining cards are rearranged to fill in the spaces.
  • The winner is the player with the most cards once all the cards have been collected.


  • Add three cards to make the "I spy" total.

What to expect your child to do:

  • At first children may need to count the symbols on the cards to work out the addition facts but expect them to develop instant recall.

Related Māori vocab:

addition facts meka tāpiritanga matua
total tapeke
add tāpiri
subtract tango

Download a file of this activity:

PDF (84KB) or Word (42KB)

Download a file of this activity including questions to ask in Māori:

PDF (94KB) or Word (50KB)