When working with word problems, be sure to add some problem solving questions to the mix. Word problems typically require computations whereas problem solving requires a little more thinking. There will be reasoning and logic necessary to solve the problem.

1. For Christmas, you got 12 candy canes in your stocking and 7 from the tree. How many candy canes do you have?

2. You have 19 Christmas cards.

12 came from your friends at school, how may came in the mail?

3. You sang 8 songs in the concert at school and your friend sang 17. How many more songs did your friend sing?

4. You buy gifts for your friends, 2 sisters, 1 brother, your mom, and dad. You buy a total of 13 gifts. How many friends do you buy for?

5. You wrapped 17 presents and your brother wrapped 8 presents. How many more presents did you wrap?

6. On your advent calendar, you ate 13 chocolates. How many more chocolates are there to eat?

7. On the day before the Christmas holidays, only 21 of the 26 students were at school. How many were absent?

8. On the day before the Christmas holidays, only 21 of the 26 students were at school. How many were absent?

Notice that in these word problems, the unknown value isn't always at the end. It's important to ensure that there is a variety in children's math word problems. Some unknown values should occur at the beginning, some the end and others at the end.