Mastering pairs that add to ten is an important early math skill. Students who commit these pairings to memory are better prepared for concepts such as place value, regrouping, and partial products, as well as more adept at moving from pencil and paper to mental math in increasingly complex calculations.
My four-year-old has already been working on this concept in a very concrete way with his Unifix cubes, but we’ve been working into the abstract by writing the pairings out on our easel and talking about them.
Additionally, here are two card game options you can use to review and practice the same facts!
Make Ten Memory
Select twenty cards in pairs that add to ten. I typically use ten black cards and ten red. For a little more challenge, you can require that they match black cards with black and red with red. (Note that you can’t require them to match suits because of the 5+5 pair. If you really want to add that level of challenge, you need to grab some extra fives from a second deck of cards.)
Lay the cards out in a grid and have them turn over two at a time, trying to locate pairs that add to ten. This game works for one child alone or for two or three to play in a group. If just one child is playing, you can make it more challenging by setting a timer.
Make Ten Pyramid Solitaire
In traditional pyramid solitaire, the goal is to make groups that add to thirteen. Simply pull the face cards from the deck and make pairs that add to ten instead!