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QBoy has shown a lot of interest in numbers and basic addition problems. He has mastered numbers 1 through 10 (and beyond). He loves it when we practice mental math, which at his age mostly consists of problems like “How much is 3 + 1?” and “If you have 5 apples and I take 2, how many will you have left?” He is already grouping items to make counting easier, such as when he looked at the number of toes on a bobcat and said “2 and 2 makes 4!” rather than counting them out.

The activity I share below is about **teaching combinations of 10**. I made a very simple printable and used dot stickers to increase his interest in the activity. He enjoyed the activity and *totally* got my objectives for it, so it was a win-win in my book!

*Note: For more resources, printables and activities related to math, please see my math activities for kids page.*

I created a simple printable for this activity that included 10 rows of 10 boxes each. Down the left side, I wrote the numbers 1 through 9 in ascending order next to each row. Down the right side, I wrote the numbers 9 through 1 in descending order next to each row.

I gave QBoy some yellow and green dot stickers to put into the boxes. The idea was for him to fill in each row with yellow stickers equal to the number on the left side and green stickers equal to the number on the right side.

As he worked through the activity, he noticed that his stickers were creating a pattern.

And when he finished filling in his worksheet, we talked about the first and last rows (1+9 and 9+1). I pointed out that adding 1+9 was equal to 10 just as adding 9+1 was equal to 10. In this way I was giving QBoy a basic introduction to the commutative property of addition, which says that when two numbers are added, the sum is the same regardless of the order of the addends.

We repeated this exercise for a few more rows (e.g., 2+8 and 8+2, 3+7 and 7+3). He clearly understood the lesson. And he was really proud of his work. So I was one happy mama. 🙂

## More resources for teaching math

More math activities from Gift of Curiosity:

- Building a 3D rainbow measurement activity
- Advanced sorting with Venn diagrams
- Adding with chain links
- Matching and ordering by size
- Estimating an apple’s circumference
- Introduction to probability
- Math practice with numbered dice
- Put the numbers on the clothesline
- Road numbers

*For more activities, resources, and printables for teaching math, see my Math Activities for Kids page and my Math Pinterest board. *

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

Great way to teach groups of 10! My daughter really got it when it was presented to her as “10 frame” in combinations of 5 and 5…. Thanks for linking up to After School!