Fun Math Card Game: Make 10

Make Ten is an easy to play and fun math card game which teaches kids ways to make 10 with addition and subtraction. All you need is a deck of cards, which I bet you already have. Card games are a great, low stress way to practice math skills with your kids. You get a little quality family time as well as helping your kids learn their math facts.

How to play make ten. A math card game for kids.

How to play Make Ten:

  1. Remove the face cards from a deck of playing cards and place the deck, face down on the table.
  2. Each player chooses 5 cards and places the cards in front of him.
  3. The first player uses the 5 cards to create as many equations as he can in which the sum equals ten. For example, If I have 9, 9, 3, 2, 4, I could make the following equations: 9+4-3=10 and
  4. After making as many equations as possible, player sets aside the used cards and play passes to the next player.
  5. Play continues with players refilling their hands to 5 cards at the start of each turn.
  6. Whoever uses the most cards by the end of the deck wins.

MORE: see more of our favorite math games

Once I was able to use all five cards at once: 8+5+3-5-1=10. Kiddo thought that was terrific. You don’t necessarily have to write the equations down but Kiddo enjoyed doing that as part of the exercise.

Keep a deck of cards stashed in your purse because this is a great travel/waiting/restaurant game.

I was able to entice my superhero-crazed younger son to play this game with a deck of Thor playing cards. (affiliate link) He made me laugh with his sound effects every time he made 10!


It is easy to create fun variations of Make Ten. Here are two that we tried, but I bet your kids can come up with more possibilities.

  • Place 12 cards out on the table and players take turns making as many equations for the sum of 10 as possible!
  • Place 3 rows of of 5 cards face up on the table. With pen and pencil, each player writes down as many equations as they can.

MORE: Read math books! These are some of our favorite math picture books for kids.

We got the idea for this math card game from the following book: (affiliate link)

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  1. Julie says

    oh, and BTW, we got “double shutter” per your recommendation at Christmas. loved by all in our house..including the toddler.

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