Quick and Easy Ten Frame Game

We played this super easy, super fun game today, and I know your kiddos will love it, because mine sure did!!

Here’s how it works:

First, you need some ten frame mats – after Sarah over at First Grader at Last blogged about these adorable 10 frame mats this summer, I had to run out to Wal-Mart and pick up some of these place mats!

Photo From Sarah at First Grader at Last

So, you need 10 frame mats and some sort of cover or marker – I use these red/white chips.  Each pair will need 1 mat and 10 chips.


The children take turns placing the counters on the mat – one places and the other covers his/her eyes.

When the “placer” finishes, the “counter” opens his/her eyes and quickly tries to count how many counters are on the mat.  The goal is to be able to quickly look and not count. (subitizing!)  The children had fun playing this over and over and over!

For a twist, and for groups that were ready, instead of counting how many counters are on the mat, they counted how many empty spaces they were – quickly!  As the children progress and get better and better, use 2 10 frame mats!


Give it a try tomorrow! It’s a great filler activity!  If you don’t have 10 frame mats ready to go, you can use these! Plain and simple will do the trick too :)


  1. I have these exact placemats sitting on my desk under my calendar! It never dawned on me to use them as tens frames! How perfect! Thanks for the great idea!


  2. What a great idea! I bet your kiddos had a field day with this. Are these placemats at Wal-Mart now? I know where I need to go tomorrow if that is the case. :)


    1. I bought them this summer...I doubt they are there now :( But keep your eyes open for checked or circle patterns! You may even be able to find some patterned scrapbook paper too that you could use!

  3. when i went this summer they were out of the placemats. i did find the napkins with the same pattern. i tried laminating the napkins, and it worked. : ) vhair61215@gmail.com

  4. We call this game quick draw. I put the ten frames on the smartboard and the kids have paper copies and a crayon. I show them the ten frame with some counters. Then I cover it up again and they have to draw what they saw. The cover-up shade works really well to help with this. It is always interesting after to see who counted the counters and who counted the empty spaces.

    After we play a couple of different times I let them have a chance to play with partners. They use paper ten frames and counters with a white board between them to help the placer to hide their ten frame. I wish I had those placemats. They are super cute.

    Terri Izatt

  5. The placemat is brilliant! I'm sure your kids had fun with this game. (And they probably didn't even realize they were learning!)

  6. Definitely, I am going to try with my kids! Looks fantastic!

    Fonts 4 Teachers
    Fonts 4 Teachers in TPT

  7. These are soooooo adorable! I have to get some. Thanks for sharing!

    Kindergarten Boom Boom

  8. Just to clarify... the fun is in yelling out the number? There is no way to win or beat the other kids' time? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Just covering your eyes and guessing the number is a BLAST! It's the little things that make 5 year olds happy!!

  9. What a great idea! We are working hard on subitizing too! Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. I scooped up the placemats after Sarah's post too! I just love, love, love the idea!

  11. Great idea! I wish I had gotten the placemats.

    Extra Special Teaching

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  13. You always have the cutest ideas! I just love your blog!
    Crayons and Curls