Free Second Grade Math Word Problems

Second graders become proficient in addition and subtraction using numbers under 20. These mathematical operations can be applied to real-life situations through word problems. Though word problems can be challenging for students, they also provide opportunities to increase your child's interest in math. You can model your own problems after the samples below.

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How to Write Second Grade Word Problems

In second grade, students further their study of addition and subtraction. New concepts include measurements, time and money. When writing word problems, you should keep in mind that your child is just developing his or her reading skills, so it's best to write in short sentences, using simple language. In addition, the problems themselves should typically require only one step to solve. To increase your child's interest, you might personalize word problems by using his or her name.

Word Problems by Topic

Addition and Subtraction

1. There are 2 cars parked on the street. Each car has 4 wheels. How many wheels are there in all?

2. You have a cake with 10 slices. For your birthday, you and 6 of your friends eat one slice each. How many slices of cake are left?


1. Anna has a red flower and a yellow flower. The red flower is 6 inches long. The yellow flower is 8 inches long. How much shorter is the red flower?

2. Samantha finds a snail that is 2 inches long. She also finds a snake that is 12 inches long. How much longer is the snake?

Make sure your child includes the unit of measurement in his or her answer. This habit can pay off for years to come as your child begins to use more than one type of measurement in math and science.


1. A movie begins at 4 p.m. It ends at 6:30 p.m. How long is the movie?

2. Kate's birthday party began at 2 p.m. The party is 3 hours long. What time will Kate's party end?

If your child is having difficulty telling time, you may want to provide him or her with a clock. This can help your child visualize length of time and become more familiar with reading analog clocks.


1. Joe went to the store for baking supplies. He spent $5.20 on flour, $4.53 on sugar and $2.75 on chocolate. How much did Joe spend altogether?

2. Brittany bought a bouquet of flowers that cost $8.20. She gave the cashier a ten dollar bill. How much change did Brittany get back?

To help your child become familiar with counting money, you might consider providing him or her with real money. This can help your child solve the problems above, in addition to helping him or her recognize differences among coins. Similarly, you might think about taking your child to a store and allowing him or her to use money in a real situation outside of school or home.
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