Treasure Chest Tens

I created this game to help my daughter start using ten frames. Her knowledge of counting and numerals is good, but I would like her to start developing some more advanced number concepts. The aim of the game is to fill ten frames and be the first to get to 100.

I love ten frames, because they help children to develop sight recognition of numbers from 1 to 10. This sight recognition will create a solid foundation for visualising addition and subtraction and working with numbers.

I have plain ten frames and a few commercially produced games, but additional theme-based resources like this one, help to keep little learners engaged. Some students I have taught over the years have needed to practise number work with ten frames for almost the entire year, so having quite a selection will make learning fun for these sorts of students.

The digital file I created comes with both small and large treasure chests. I suggest playing this game with groups of 2 students. Each student will need ten treasure chests - but this can be modified. I played 'first to 50' with my daughter, so we only needed 5 each.
I have also included a blackline version of the treasure chest, so you can print and photocopy to save on ink costs.
In the photo above you can see that I have cut the treasure chests, and then put them in a laminating sheet. Do you cut then laminate, or laminate then cut?
If you have the time, it is worth cutting first. If you cut your paper first, then laminate the shapes, you will ensure a complete seal around all edges of the shape. The only down side is that you will have to do another cut, after the shapes have been laminated. When the shapes have a completely sealed edge, they will last a lot longer.

Here you can see I have cut the treasure chest, then laminated it and now I am going to cut it our again.

I am teaching my daughter the correct way to use a ten frame - from the top right hand corner first.

Filling the frame from left to right.

After five squares are filled, we fill from left to right on the bottom row. I have engaged my daughter in lots of discussion about numbers to encourage her to develop higher level counting strategies. For example, as she made this arrangement I asked her how many more she needed to make ten. I asked he how many she had (6) and how many more that was than 5. Lots of discussion to encourage her to use the frames as a reference point in her counting and getting her to visualise the combinations that make ten. This will be a gradual development for her, and we will need to play this game quite a few times to help her internalise these counting strategies.

We had a family game of Treasure Chest Tens again this evening. We used the small game boards and used a collection of buttons for counters. The buttons are smaller than regular counters and my daughter enjoyed calling them 'treasure' - as she dug around the box of buttons, she really felt like she was digging for treasure.

I have a box of buttons like this one in my classroom for counting games and activities. As well as buying bags of buttons at the craft shops, I also keep all the little spare buttons that come with new clothes - ask your classroom parents to save some for you!

To motivate my students in the classroom, or if doing a pirate theme, I would put all the game pieces and counters in a treasure box like this one, ready to play. I think I purchased this treasure chest from Scholastic. It has been used for so many things in my classroom. It is made of cardboard, can be easily folded and assembled. It was a very worthwhile and versatile purchase.