Making Ten Activities (Old School and On-Line Options)

In my last post, Basic Addition Facts For Fluency, one of the suggested strategies for helping your child understand addition was to use “make a ten”. For example, if I am adding 7 + 6, I can take 3 away from the 6 to make 7 a ten. I would have 3 left over of the original 6, so 10 + 3 would be 13. Or…

7 + 6 = 7 + 3 + 3 = 10 + 3 = 13

Now, when written this way, it looks completely ridiculous and a waste of time. In fact, many of these types of strategies are getting blasted on Facebook. However, if I am simply making the 7 into a 10, it doesn’t seem so weird. And if  I know all of the ways to make 10, I can use this strategy very quickly and not have to count on my fingers six more (which is what a lot of our kiddos do). More important is the fact that I now know I can break up any number(s) to create what I need to make the expression easier to simplify. I can use this strategy to make any multiple of ten, make 100, make 1000, make 1 (when dealing with decimals or fractions), or make 0 (when dealing with positive and negative numbers). I cannot do all of this on my fingers!!!

Below are several games/activites you can use to practice making ten with your child. Most use only a deck of cards. I like these type, since you can take cards anywhere. I used to keep them in my purse for wait time at the doctor’s office, restaurants, etc. There are a few with dominoes, but I found my child only wanted to build with the dominoes and had no interest in actually playing the games.

You can adapt these games to “make” whatever number you want. For example, you may want to start your 4 year olds with just “making 5” and play all of the card games (just remember to only use the cards aces-5 for 0-5). You could then play all of the same games to “make 6”, “make 7” and so on. So the games don’t change; just the value you are trying to create.

I have also included some interactive on-line games and activites. All are free to use. I figured, what with summer coming, you may need some educational games to use for screen time.

Please, please add additional games and resources in the comment section. The more ideas we have, the more prepared we are to help our children.

Games to Play

  1. Go Fish. Take out face cards, but keep the aces for 0 (to add to 10). Shuffle cards, hand out four (tiny hands have a hard time with more than four, but you can use any amount to start with). If you/he have any pairs that make ten already, set them down as a match. If not, child asks parent, “Do you have a ___?” The card he is asking for should add to one of the cards he is holding to make 10. If you have it, give it to your child. If not say, “Go Fish” and they choose a card and keep it. Now it is your turn. Repeat moves. I play until we run out of cards, and the winner is the one with the most matches that add up to ten.
  2. Memory. Use only one suit. (Let your child choose which suit to use.) Use only the ace (for 0) and the number cards. Note: You will need one more 5 from a different suite to make the 10. Shuffle and lay them face down in 3 rows of four. Your child chooses two cards to look at and see if they make a 10. If they do, she keeps the cards and goes again. If not, she puts it back in the original spots face down. You repeat. The player with the most matches adding to 10 is the winner. (This is great for a restaurant or the doctor’s office, as you only need 12 cards!
  3. Slap 10! Take out face cards, but keep the aces for 0 (to add to 10). Shuffle the cards and divvy them out so that you each have half of the deck. Hold the deck so the cards are facing down. Each of you flips your top card face up. If the two cards add to 10, slap them! Whoever slaps first wins the cards. If it doesn’t add up to 10, flip your next card over. If those two cards add to 10, whoever slaps first wins all of the face up cards. The player with the most cards at the end (which is when you get sick of playing) wins. Another great one for restaurants as long as the slapping isn’t too loud!
  4. How much more to make 10? Take out your face cards, but keep the aces for 0. Shuffle the cards and divvy them out so that you each have half of the deck. Hold the deck so the cards are facing down. Your child (without looking at the card), puts the first card up on her forehead so that the value is facing you. She asks, “How much more do I need to make 10?” You give her the answer. She then has to figure out what card she is holding. She says it out loud then can check her card to see if she is right. If so, she keeps the card. If not, it goes into a discard pile. Repeat, this time you put a card to your forehead. Player with the most cards at the end of time wins. Having a ten-frame handy is a great support for this game!
  5. Dominoes. You can use either regular dominoes or the larger set. If you choose the larger set, go only up to (0,10). Place the dominoes face down. Your child chooses a domino. If the two sides add up to 10, he keeps it. If not, he dumps it into a “dump pile”. You can also play regular dominoes, but only give points when the ends add up to ten.

On-line Interactive Resources This is for retention of the facts for making ten. You look at the number in the shooter and aim it at one of the balls that adds to make it ten. So if the shooter has a 9, you need to aim it at the 1 to make ten. I figure, if they are going to get screen time, why not add a little math in with it? This is in a pyramid form with “cards”. You click two cards in the pyramid that create ten. I like this one, because they include the dots with the number just in case they need to count it out. I love National Council Teachers of Mathematics! One of their resources is on-line interactive activities and lessons for teachers. Well, you can use them to! This link takes you to a ten-frame. You have four different “games” your child can play, but with what we are focusing on #3 is the one to use. (Feel free to try them all. They are great for addition!) You are given a ten-frame with discs pre slugged, and your child guesses how many more s/he needs to add to fill the frame (or make ten). They can also fill in the frame first then write in the amount they used. The pre-slugged are in blue, the ones your child adds in are red, so they can see how many more they need. For Parents: The “Exploration” tab provides questions you should ask as your child plays all four games. The “Related Resources” tab provides additional activities. Of all the resources I am providing, this is the one to use!!!!

Making Ten Activities (Old School and On-Line Options)

4 thoughts on “Making Ten Activities (Old School and On-Line Options)

  1. Summer Selby says:

    There is s great app my first graders love called Make10Plus. You can change the settings to make higher or lower sums and you can change the number tiles to dot tiles. Love this app.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dawn says:

    First of all, the skill in making ten makes counting change so much easier.

    Secondly, I’ve always used blocks. With my oldest I used the Teacher store’s Unifix cubes but LEGO, wooden blocks, ect work just as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree. Also cool to use are the ten frames. I put blue tape on the fridge and use yellow/red magnetic counters (circles). My little loves to count on from the amount in the frame to figure out how many more he needs to make 10. He can then add in the counters. Super fun to use blocks, counters, legos, etc. Use whatever you have in your home! Thanks for sharing, Dawn!


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