Beach Time Subtraction Puzzles

These ocean subtraction puzzles are the next best thing to spending the day at the beach! Students will love the challenge of matching up the problems and solutions and you’ll love the quick and easy prep.

For more math fun, check out our Place Value Cover Up in our shop!

Getting Ready

To prep, I printed the Beach Time Subtraction Puzzles (below) on cardstock and laminated them for extra durability so that they could be used year after year.

Once I finished laminating them, I cut them out. I found it easiest to use a paper trimmer to cut around the outside border of the puzzles first.

Then, I went back and cut out the individual pieces of each puzzle with scissors.

Beach Time Subtraction Puzzles

The set contains 20 different puzzles, covering numbers 1 to 20. Each puzzle contains four pieces: one piece identifies the number and the others have subtraction problems that equal that number.

Students start the activity by placing all of the puzzle pieces on a table or the floor.

They choose a beach pail number puzzle piece first. I always encourage my students to say the number out loud.

If your students are younger, you can have them trace the number with their finger.

RELATED ACTIVITY: Shark Roll and Cover

This student chose the number eight.

Students then sorted through all of the pieces, trying to find the subtraction problems that equaled eight.

They continued searching for matches until there were three shovels with the pail.

When they were done, they pushed the puzzle to the side and continued until all 20 puzzle pieces had been paired.


One of the things I love most about this center is that it can easily be adapted to fit the needs of your own students.

If your students only know the numbers 1 to 10, then only include those puzzles.

If you only want to focus on numbers 15 to 20, provide your students with those puzzles.

If having three subtraction problems for every number is overwhelming for children, you can easily give them two piece puzzles to complete. As they master those, then you can slowly add in more.

Grab Your Set

Ready for your free set?! Click the blue download button below to grab your puzzles now and then hop over and snag our Place Value Cover Up!

Click here to subscribe

Our members get MORE!

Would you like 24/7 unlimited access to all of Playdough to Plato’s math and literacy centers, STEM challenges and digital games including hundreds of exclusive printables you can’t find anywhere else? Check out The Plato Pack!


  1. j

    Beach Subtraction Way cool! allmy kids will love

  2. Pilar

    Beach Time Subtraction Puzzles El botón de descarga no funciona!

  3. PILAR

    No puedo descargar “Rompecabezas de resta de tiempo en la playa” y tampoco “Rompecabezas de adición de castillos de arena”. Los botones de descarga no funcionan!



  1. Beach Writing Prompt - Playdough To Plato - […] down to grab your freebie and jump over and snag some beach time subtraction […]
  2. Ice Cream Writing Craftivity - Playdough To Plato - […] down to grab your freebie then hop over and grab our Beach Time Subtraction for more summer […]
  3. Beach Bucket Digraph Sort - Playdough To Plato - […] digraphs, scroll down and click the blue download button. Then make sure to hop over and grab our Beach Time…
  4. Summer Spin and Graph - Playdough To Plato - […] fun?!  Just click the blue button below to grab your FREE download and then hop over and snag our…
  5. Beach Themed Learning Activites - Playdough To Plato - […] Then make sure to catch some cute crabs by finding the correct subtraction solutions. […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!

This only happens twice a year! Join The Reading Roadmap now.