Ten frame math game

If you’ve got a young child learning math in preschool or kindergarten, you may well have come across ten frames.

Ten frames are brilliant. They are, as the name suggests, a rectangular 2 x 5 frame made up of ten boxes. Numbers can be shown in a ten frame by placing counters/dots in each box.

It’s so important for young children to see and explore numbers shown in ten frames. Ten frames help children see the value of a number within the context of ten. They’re a great tool for helping children to build number sense.

And so, with ten frames on the brain, today’s free resource is a fun 2-player game that you can play at home with your child to practise numbers to 10 as well as, you guessed it, ten frames.

What’s included?

This ten frame math game includes the following:

• 2 ten frame boards
• 3 sets of number cards (1 to 10)
• 5 ‘hand’ picture cards

Once you’ve printed out the sheets, all you will need to get started is a pair of scissors to cut out the cards. (For this game, you won’t even need to turn the house upside down looking for a dice – oh the joy!)

Playing the ten frame game

Here are all the details you need to play the game…

Prep

Start by cutting out all three sets of number cards and the five individual hand cards. Mix up all the number cards and hand cards and put them in a pile face down on the table.

Next give each player a board. Each board shows 10 ten frames (one for each number from one to ten).

The rules

The aim of the game is to be the first player to cover all the ten frames on their board.

Player one starts by picking the top card from the pile. They then place the number card over the corresponding ten frame on their board.

So, for example if you pick a card showing the number five, you would place this over the top of the ten frame showing 5 dots.

It is then player two’s turn.

If you turn over a card with a picture of a hand on it, this means that you can take any number card from the other player’s board and put it on your own ten frame board. (It obviously has to be a number card that you need and that you haven’t already covered on your own board).

Play continues until one of the players covers all the ten frames on their board and is declared the winner (complete with trumpet fanfare, cheering and enthusiastic high-fiving).

Related post: Ten frames flash cards for numbers 0 through 10

What math does this game cover?

Although this game is really easy to play, it’s nonetheless chock-a-block full of math.

For a start, your child will be identifying and naming numbers to 10.

They will also be getting familar with the idea of a ten frames and how numbers can be shown in this visual representation.

Your child is seeing that a number isn’t just a numeral to be recited in order, but rather that is has a value.

Your child will also be practising counting and subitizing skills. Your child may need to count the dots individually on the ten frame in order to match the correct number card. Or, they may be at a stage where they are using their subitizing skills (this means being able to ‘see’ how may dots there are in a ten frame without having to count each individual one). Both these skills are so important.

Games are a great way for children to practise math skills. Kids love games, so they get to practise all these important skills in a fun way without feeling like they’re doing any “boring school work”. Everybody wins!

Need more ten frame resources?

The more number work you can do with your child, the better.

If you are on the look out for more resources, check out my store. There you’ll find lots of resources for helping your child build number sense skills. Here are a few examples: