When young children work with five frames and ten frames, they are building number sense. It is an important skill because it builds a good foundation of mathematical thinking. The following activities are a great place to start. These five and ten frame activities for Kindergarten make learning fun!
Five frames and ten frames allow you to “see” a number. It helps to develop a strong sense of five and ten. It strengthens the way children think about and talk about numbers and number combinations.
Teaching number sense is not necessarily what you do as a teacher. Instead, you provide opportunities to practice and experience and explore because number sense is not taught, it is caught. (Source: Build Math Minds)
Important Math Skills Learned with Five Frames and Ten Frames
- number relationships
- number concepts
- basic number sense
- number recognition
- number bonds
- place value
Five Frame Activities
Download Five Frame War
Print the five frame cards, cut them apart and play Five Frame War. This is a fun way to experience the concept of five.
Different Ways to Use Five Frame Cards:
Math Talks – They can be used in math talks with a game called “Flash It”. I briefly flash a five frame and challenge my students to not only know how many were on the card, but to also explain their thinking of how they knew that was the answer even though I flashed it so quickly. It takes some time to steer them away from the answer of “I just knew.”, but being able to verbalize their thinking is an important skill and this is a great time to practice it.
Math Centers – Put this game with other fun math games as a choice for your students to pick from and play independently or as a pair.
Memory – Use them as a Memory game and find the matching pairs.
Find the Matching Number – Give number cards or numeral magnets and have your child find the matching number in the five frames.
Count and Write – Laminate the five frame cards. Use a dry erase marker to count and write the numeral.
Download the Five Frame Worksheet
Ways you can use this five frame worksheet:
- Use it to make your own dot cards – Put dot stickers in a random order on the five frame in different arrangements and use it to play “Flash It” (directions above). This builds strong number sense by giving mental images of numbers. Using different colored dots helps them to start seeing different number combinations. For example, after flashing this card a child might say, “I saw 4. I knew that because I saw 2 red and 2 blue.”
- Laminate one for each student and pair it with dry erase markers. Call out a number and challenge your students to fill in that number on the five frame. After they fill it in you can extend the activity by asking “How many empty spaces are left?”.
- Make special dice from a wooden cube by writing only numerals 1 and 2 on it. Roll the die and put that many math manipulatives (mini erasers, buttons, gems, blocks, etc.) on the five frame. Encourage your students to fill in the five frame from left to right. When it is full, they win this fun game.
- Turn it into a 2 player game by having one player roll to put the manipulatives ON the five frame and the second player rolls to take them off. If the five frame fills up, that player wins. If it is completely empty, the second player wins. This is a simple way for young learners to experience addition and subtraction before even introducing equations.
Ten Frame Activities
Use these free printables in Math centers or small groups.
Download the Cookie Ten Frame Activity
- Put a numeral cookie on the baking sheet and put the correct number of counters in the ten frame. Use brown pom poms or buttons and pretend they are chocolate chips.
- Put the cookies in numerical order in the ten frame. Roll a die and “eat” that number of cookies (take them off of the tray). When the 10 frame is empty, you win!
- Roll the die and put that number of cookies in the ten frame. When the ten frame is full, you win! Encourage students to work from the top row to the bottom row, left to right.
Candy Jar Ten Frame Activity
Roll the die and put fill the ten frame with the corresponding number of objects. This is a fun game to play with real candy like m&ms, fruit snacks, or candy corn. When you win, you eat the treat. If you can’t use real candy, try gems, buttons, or mini erasers.
Gingerbread Man Ten Frame Math 1-10
- Print 2 sets and play Memory
- Match them to Number Cards
- Print 5 sets and play Ten Frame War
10 Frame Worksheets
Includes a large ten frame, a ten frame with an addition equation, and a ten frame with a subtraction equation.
These ten frame worksheets are a great way to practice addition and subtraction. Use the ten frame to complete the number sentence. Print one to model for the whole group and then print one for each student in the whole class to try.
Here are some other fantastic activities and games you can play with ten frames.
Ten Frame Rocks from A Little Pinch of Perfect
Make an Egg Carton Ten Frame from Happy Toddler Playtime
Stacking Cup Game from Kindergarten Smorgasboard
Make a Life Size Ten Frame from First Grade Wow