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Ten Frames

Ten frames (rectangular frames divided into 10 boxes) are commonly used in elementary school math programs to help children make sense of numbers, as well as for creating simple addition problems. 

Create large, simple 10 frames using sidewalk chalk or masking tape. Have your child help collect items from around the house or outside that can be used inside the ten frame (blocks, other small toys, natural items). 

Introduce these simple and fun math activities:

  • Choose a number, 1-10, and have your child display it in the frame. Typically, ten frame items are lined up in a row. But you could also ask your child to display the items in different ways in the frame.
  • Use a dice to roll a number to display in the frame.
  • If you have a variety of items, choose two types (like in the photo). Give your child a number 1-5 for the top row and have them display with one type of item. Give your child another 1-5 number to display for the bottom row. Now you can create a math problem out of the two rows.
  • For younger children, a ten frame filled with items is a great way to practice one-to-one correspondence. 

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