Math games for preschoolers are a great way to teach and reinforce basic math concepts. Here is a simple ten-frame game (with free printable). It’s a great hands-on math activity that kids love to play.
Are you looking for a fun, hands-on way to teach counting and basic math concepts to kids? One of my favorite math games for preschoolers is a simple fill the frame game with a ten frame. The game helps kids understand and talk about many early math concepts. It can be easily differentiated and best of all…..kids enjoy playing the game. This ten-frame game works well with 2-4 players.
Supplies for Your Math Game
- Paper or Cardstock for printing
- Ten Frame Game Board: Each child will need 1 ten frame.
- Printable Spinner: The game can be played with a die, but I prefer to use a 1-3 game spinner.
- Spinner Mechanism: You can purchase a 4″ spinner or you can use a brad and paperclip to make a spinner.
- Counters: You will also need ten counters for each ten frame. Use anything for your counters…..coins, little people, bottle caps, building bricks, counting cubes, poker chips, little erasers…..
Download The Printables
You can find the free ten-frame printable in my article about using ten frames to teach one-to-one correspondence. Print one ten-frame per child.
Next, you can download the printable spinner by clicking the link below:
You will need 1 spinner per group of kids. Print and cut out the round spinner. Then, attach a 4″ spinner. If you don’t have a spinner to attach to the printable game spinner, you can make a spinner with a brad and a paper clip. No brad and paper clips in the desk drawer? You can use a die instead. Make a custom 1-3 die with a small square block.
Customize Your Math Game
If you use my printable ten-frame and game spinner from above, you can customize them however you wish. I love making homemade learning games!
Of course, you can print them on different colors of paper. Add stickers, or photos to the ten-frame game board or spinner so that they coordinate with a seasonal or thematic unit. You can also add stickers or small pictures to bottle caps or poker chips to create thematic counters.
I added frog stickers to the game boards below. I also have some plastic flies (ewww) that make perfect thematic counters. It can get kind of silly playing because we joke about feeding the giant flies to each of the frogs.
You don’t’ have to use stickers to make a thematic game. Here, I used some emoji mini-erasers as counters with a blank game board. This is a perfect game to use with an all about me theme or an emotion theme unit or lesson plans.
How to Play
Give each child in the group a ten-frame and 10 counters. Use one spinner for the group. Each child takes a turn spinning the spinner, naming the numeral spun, and adding the appropriate number of counters to their ten-frame.
Young children may need direction to fill the frame from top to bottom and left to right. The children continue to take turns and the first child to fill the frame is the winner. Children can clear their cards and start again after all of the spaces on the frame are filled.
Talking About Math Concepts
The reason that I love playing this game with children is that it provides the opportunity to have conversations about math concepts. Kids look at how many spaces on the frames have been filled as they play. Encourage them to talk about the following:
- How many counters are on their ten-frame before a spin?…then…How many counters are on their ten-frame game board after they spin?
- How many more spaces need to be filled? Can you fill them with one spin? How did you figure that out?
- Ask them to compare one player’s ten-frame to another player’s ten-frame. Who has the most counters? Who has the fewest counters? How do you know?
I hope that you enjoy playing the ten-frame game with your kids. I would love to hear how you customized your game board.
Additional Activities and Math Games for Preschoolers
I have a variety of thematic ten-frame activities and math games for preschoolers in my store. Click on the pictures below to check them out.
Below are some items from Amazon that can be used for the activities mentioned in this article. The links below are affiliate links. If you happen to purchase something from a link, there will be no additional cost to you, but a small portion of your purchase will be used towards the cost of maintaining this website.