If you’ve already read some of our previous posts, you surely know how much we value playing math. Learning math through games is one of the best ways to get your child interested in this at times daunting subject. In fact, math is really fun! And it’s absolutely everywhere! We just need to show this to our kids and students in a playful form. So let’s learn about one of our favorite fun math games for kids: I See 10.
Games are great because they improve skills. Making math lively and exciting is more efficient for learning. We need to establish a sense of numbers by working with quantities, and not just scribbles — “written numbers” that mean less for little kids. I See 10 is an excellent game for little kids to actually understand numbers and understand how they are composed. It’s perfect for retaining math arithmetics. After you see your young child or student effortlessly adding up more tangible numbers, you may also notice they have gotten better at “written math.” Since now, they understand it at its core.
What You Need For This and Many Other Fun Math Games For Kids
To play many fun math games for kids, we just need some Ten Frame Cards! They are very easy to make or purchase, so this game can be played virtually anywhere, especially online! If you want to buy some sturdy ones, you can easily purchase them on Amazon here. We love that they are inexpensive and easily accessible.
If you want to get these cards last-minute for a quick and fun math game, you can just print them. Teachers Pay Teachers has many great resources, either for free or for a small donation.
You can also get our version here:
Lastly, say you find yourself without a printer. No worries, you can quickly draw these cards up yourself! Just follow one of the printable pdfs (linked above) and make your own.
Furthermore, there is also an online version of ten frames which can be great on the go. The kids will play against the computer in this one.
What Is A Ten Frame And Why Is It So Great For Learning Math?
Ten frames are a fantastic tool for young learners to help children understand concepts like counting, adding, subtracting, and place value.
A ten frame is a rectangular frame that consists of ten boxes. Inside the boxes are different images that can make up different numbers, up to ten. These are usually dots but can be more creative to engage the kids even more. Ten frames help children develop a strong sense of numbers.
How To Play “I See 10”
This game is easy to learn and suitable for kids of any age! There are two versions we like to play in class, the competitive one and the non-competitive one.
- Place cards in front of the kids.
- Ask them if they see 10.
- The first kid to see 10 has to say “Me!”.
- Then the child has to show which cards make up 10.
- These cards go into his collection.
- Repeat until there are no more cards left and see who accumulated the most points.
Note: Playing competitively does not mean playing aggressively. It’s good to explain to the students that this is a friendly race. For more tips, check out our article: Why Losing Is Important For Kids.
Non-Competitive Version One
Taking turns when playing. When you have a small group of students, you can have the students take turns. In our classes, we usually like to start off with this version of the game. Then we move on to the competitive version when the kids are ready.
For this version, we call a student one by one. We put some cards in front of them and ask them if they see 10. If they take a while to answer, we can ask if any of the other students see 10 but make sure they don’t say which cards they are. This way, the called student will be motivated to try again and find the 10.
Non-Competitive Version Two
This one is a timed race that a group of children can participate in together. Set a timer for two minutes to start (you can adjust the time accordingly in future rounds). Keep putting new cards in front of the kids and asking them to find 10. The kids will collect the cards, and at the end of the round, we tally up how many points the group has in total. Each time the kids play a new round, they will try to beat their own record as a team.
This game is also fun during one-on-one tutoring! This time, the teacher plays against the student. After you see that the child sufficiently understands the game’s rules, you can purposefully make mistakes. For example, adding up the wrong cards and telling the student you “see 10”. This will encourage the child to become the teacher and explain why your answer was wrong, in turn showing you the correct answer.
As you can see, there are many ways to play fun math games for kids using ten frames! These are just some of the easier variations we’ve adapted for the younger learners. Once you feel confident with these, by all means, feel free to experiment with new games. Most importantly, have fun!