Let’s make teaching numbers to 10 fun with exciting games and activities in the classroom! There are so many ways to teach numbers to kids, so add these to your teacher toolbox next time you need them.
Teaching Numbers to 10 in Fun Ways
Mastering number sense is the ticket to understanding all mathematical concepts. When students learn to count to 10, identify numbers to 10, and manipulate them in simple math problems, they are on their way to success.
While these concepts can be frustrating for some students, teachers can help make things fun for kids. This post shows several fun and engaging ways to teach numbers to 10. Children who see their teacher having fun with numbers will enjoy it, too.
Table of Contents
- Teaching Numbers to 10 in Fun Ways
- Strategies for Building a Strong Foundation
- Lessons & Hands-On Activities & Games for Number Practice
- Helpful Strategies to Build Number Sense to 10
- Numbers to 10 Resources to Try
- More Math Ideas & Activities for the Classroom
Strategies for Building a Strong Foundation
For students to be successful in math, give them a solid foundation to build upon. Here are some simple ideas that can be incorporated into every classroom setting.
Add in Multi-Sensory Learning
Kinesthetic activities are a great way to get kids moving and learning outside of writing on a worksheet. They have to move and manipulate objects to grasp an idea!
- human number line – invite students to hop on the number line to visualize concepts.
- number songs – add fun songs to your morning meetings or math block to teach number sense
- poems about numbers – use poetry to help kids remember essential math facts
- number formation rhymes – create or use rhymes that students can recite to help when they write numerals
- outdoor number lines – let the kids create number lines in chalk on the playground
Visual Aids & Posters
Displaying visual aids is an excellent way for kids to have a reference point while they work on individual tasks. Once you teach an idea, put it on the wall or an anchor chart for students to look at. They will appreciate having reminders throughout the day. These “I Can” posters help guide instruction and remind students of learning outcomes.
Create a free number-of-the-day poster to help kids visualize numbers and practice number concepts. Kids will enjoy taking the time each day to focus on one number. They will learn about quantity and deepen number sense skills this way.
Repetition & Reinforcement
A simple way to solidify number sense is to use consistency. Practice a number of the day to get kids used to learning math skills each day. Once a number is introduced, use it throughout the day. Discuss it while waiting in line during a transition, review it at the teacher’s table, and use it in math centers!
Begin your math mini-lessons by teaching students as a group—model how to work on a skill and then send them off to new activities to practice. The practice stations work well when kids practice alone and with partners. Add group or partner games so kids can learn from one another. The collaboration allows them to teach and challenge one another.
Lessons & Hands-On Activities & Games for Number Practice
Counting & Matching Numbers to 10
Help kids learn to count to ten forwards and backward! Have them match numerals to corresponding quantities and play around with numbers.
- Provide opportunities to use a number line and chart that puts numbers in order.
- Give sets of numbers to order correctly by finding them on the number line.
- Cover different numbers on a number chart with sticky notes and ask kids for the missing numbers.
- Build Lego stacks by putting the pieces together in an order written on the blocks.
- Count to 10 with a partner, going back and forth from number to number.
- Invite kids to color quantities that match a given numeral.
- Draw pictures to represent each number to 10.
- Count and connect cubes to make towers of 10.
- Have kids create number crowns after learning about each number.
Writing Numerals to 10
Students should practice number formation by writing each of the numerals to 10. Explain to kids how to form each number correctly. Try using a fun number formation poem so they can remember how to write each one. Posters, number lines, and calendars are helpful tools.
- Write numbers on practice pages with pencils or crayons or on whiteboards.
- Complete number puzzles in a group or individually.
- Provide students with numerals to color and copy.
- Form numbers using playdough during math centers.
- Complete a number shape craft as a whole group.
- Invite students to write the number on a whiteboard and draw the corresponding number of dots.
- Form numbers using snap cubes or other blocks.
- Use paint daubers to trace numbers on the page.
- Trace letters in the air during whole group lessons using fingers.
This concept focuses on counting objects one at a time and in the correct order. Show students how to count by touching each object as they count. Then, show them that objects can be moved away as they count or cross off.
- Sort picture cards using numerals and matching quantities.
- Place dots on butterfly wings as kids count. This can also be turned into a simple craft.
- Fill in ten frames with counters and other manipulatives.
- Form number chains with math links to represent numbers.
- Let kids play a game that involves counting spaces as they pull cards.
Cardinality & Conservation
Counting and conservation is the idea that the final number counted represents the number of objects. During a lesson, a teacher will display a set of objects and have students count them. After counting, kids will be asked, “How Many?”
- Utilize clip cards for counting. Students practice number sense and fine motor skills.
- Complete number puzzles in centers or with partners.
- Allow students to practice counting with a partner out loud.
- Play the “I have, who has” card game during math block.
Subitizing involves students looking at a set of dots or objects and quickly stating how many without counting. Show students arrangements of die faces or popsicle sticks. Encourage students not to count when the object is shown. Allow them to recreate the number in their way.
- Play the “I have, who has” card game in math centers where dot representations are on cards.
- Sort dotted cards that represent numbers. Remind students to quickly call out the number and try not to count.
- Print and complete color-by-number activities in math centers.
- Practice daily subitizing on the board as a whole group before centers.
- Encourage subitizing when students play a board game with dice.
- Give students dominoes and have them subitize the number of dots on each half of the domino.
Estimating with Numbers to 10
To master estimating, students roughly calculate the value, number, or quantity. This involves showing students different sets of scattered objects and letting them guess how many are in the arrangement.
- Have students guess how many objects are in a partner’s cup during centers.
- Use estimate mats in math centers to get students used to the concept.
- Introduce an estimation worksheet during independent work times.
- Place a jar of manipulatives or objects out for students to make guesses.
Comparing & Ordering Numbers to 10
Students take a look at two different quantities or numbers and decide which is greater, less than, or if they are equal. Ask students what greater than, less than, and equal mean, and review the symbols for these concepts.
- Build and compare cube towers. The taller it is, the greater it is.
- Use counters to show which numbers are more or less.
- Compare number cards in math centers.
- Complete Mindful Math worksheets to practice comparing and ordering.
- Have students place paperclips on corresponding number cards and compare which have more and less.
Making Numbers to 10
Kids need to learn about partners of ten and ways to compose and decompose the number. Give students ten counters or objects and ask them to create two groups that make 10. Then, discover together all the groupings that make 10.
- Play the shake-and-toss game to make random pairs. Once the objects are tossed, students record the partners of 10 made.
- Match ice cream cones with partners of 10 during independent work times.
- Use colored cubes to show partners of 10, then have students record their answers.
- Give students snap cubes to practice making the other numbers up to 10.
Helpful Strategies to Build Number Sense to 10
Building number sense involves practicing plenty throughout the day. Try these ideas if you want fun ways to incorporate numbers into your math lessons and centers!
Count with everyday objects and math manipulatives such as the ones below
- snap cubes
- math links
- two-sided counters
- pom poms
- counting bears
- nature (leaves, acorns, rocks, etc)
- Find more math manipulatives that are perfect for your number lessons!
Use math picture books in your lessons – adding a story element to your lessons makes it ten times more fun.
- The Crayon’s Book to Numbers
- Ten Little Ladybugs
- Ten Black Dots
- Ten Scoops on Top
- Count to Ten with a Mouse
- More number and counting books for kids
Try educational apps and online resources – there are a variety of apps and websites with free and paid tools.
Math is such a fun concept, but it takes practice. Instead of drilling kids with math facts, try using fun games and activities to solidify their knowledge of numbers up to 10. Through play and exciting activities, they will learn to love math time!
Numbers to 10 Resources to Try
Try Mindful Math in your classroom with a free numbers lesson and activities geared towards Kindergarten. You’ll receive a sample lesson showing how each Mindful Math lesson works. This particular sample comes with number cards, counting cards, an I Can statement, ten frames, worksheets to try, and butterfly counting mats!
Click the image below to grab a copy.
Numbers to 10 Units for Kindergarten and First Grade
The Mindful Math curriculum resources provide everything you need to teach math in kindergarten to 3rd grade. Try one of the numbers to 10 units that include detailed lesson plans, materials, posters, centers, games, mentor texts, worksheets, quick assessments, math journal pages, warm-ups, mental math ideas, and more!
It’s seriously everything you need to teach the necessary math concepts at your grade level.
More Math Ideas & Activities for the Classroom
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