Understanding ten is HUGE in development of place value.  Kids should quickly be able to identify all of the ways to make 10 (2+8, 4+6…).  This should be automatic and playing a game is a great way to practice.

This game is a simple modification on the classic “Go Fish” game.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Remove face cards from a deck of playing cards or all the specialty cards (Reverse, Wild, etc.) in an Uno deck.
  2. Deal 5 cards to each player.  DSC04603
  3. Look for any tens you can make.  If you have two numbers that add to ten, you can make a match.
  4. If you don’t have two numbers that make a ten, players take turns asking for the number they need.
    • For example, if you have an 8, you would need a 2 to make ten, so you would ask your partner if they had a “2”.
    • If your partner has a 2, they give it to you and you make a ten!DSC04604
    • If your partner does not have a 2, then they would say, “Go Fish,” and you would draw a card from the deck.
  5. Play continues until one player has made a 10 from all of their cards
    • Or until a certain number of matches is made (ex: 5 matches)


If your child needs a little help, you could try these strategies:

  • Get a group of ten things (legos, blocks, cheerios).  If your child has a “4” that they want to match, have them group 4 items and see how many are left to make a ten.  They should see there are 6 items left, so they know they need to ask for a “6”.
  • Use a ten frame.
  • Start with less cards.  Instead of dealing 5 cards, deal 3.  It may be easier to play if there are less numbers to think about.

For an extra challenge:

  • Have your child write the addition equation that matches their pair of ten. (8 + 2 = 10)
  • Play until you have all of the combinations of ten that are possible (1+9, 2+8, 3+7, 4+6, 5+5)
  • Play for color and ten matches.  Instead of matching any color cards to make a ten, match a yellow 8 with a yellow 2.  This will add an extra element to the game to make it a little more interesting.

Have fun!