When your kids are learning basic addition skills, you look for all kinds of ways to make learning math fun. We've found math card games to be a great way to practice addition and have fun at the same time. Tens Go Fish is a mathematical version of the classic card game–you guessed it–Go Fish!
Tens Go Fish is very easy to learn, especially if your kids are already familiar with Go Fish. It is also perfect as a beginning math card game for kids who aren't used to having to perform calculations while they play games! After you read the basic instructions below be sure to try out the variations I've suggested, too! If you would like written instructions, fill out the form at the end of the post.
What You Need
- One deck of cards. Remove all the face cards and the number 10 cards. You will be left with four cards each of numbers 1-9.
- Two or more enthusiastic players!
How to Play Tens Go Fish
Deal each player five cards. Place the stack of remaining cards face down in the middle of the table. This is the "Go Fish" pile.
Before beginning game play look for pairs of cards in your hand with a sum of 10. Place all pairs with a sum of 10 face up on the table in front of you. Draw from the Go Fish pile to replace the cards so you still have five cards in your hand. For example if you have a hand with 2-2-3-8-7, place 2-8 and 3-7 on the table and draw four more cards.
To begin, as in traditional Go Fish, players take turns asking each other for their desired card. However, instead of seeking out pairs of the same card, players want pairs to make the sum of 10. For example, if I hold a 5, 3, 2, 4, 9, I might ask for a 5 so I can "make 10."
If a player gets the card he asked for, he puts the pair down on the table and picks a new card from the deck. If he does not get the card he asked for, the player must "Go Fish" and pick a new card from the deck. If the new card from the deck makes 10 with a card in the player's hand, he or she puts the pair of cards down, and gets another turn. If he still does not get the card he wanted, play passes to the next player.
If a player runs out of cards, he picks two new cards. A player's turn is over when he can no longer make 10.
The game is over when there are no more cards, or no more pairs can be made.
Once you and the kids have gotten the hang of how to play Tens Go Fish, you will enjoy changing things up a bit to keep the game interesting.
Add in four face cards, such as the four kings. Designate these four face cards as "wild cards," which when drawn can be any value the holder of the card decides to give it.
You can also add back in the number 10 cards. Players can place a single 10 card down instead of a pair.
For extra math practice, have players write down the equations of each pair combinations they make.
More fun math card games my kids love:
- Fives and Tens, or as we call it, "Fiverton"
- Five Pointed Star
- Make Ten
We LOVE this book:
Raising a Happy Child says
Nice game! I wish we could get homework like this. Is school still in in NYC? We are out for the summer already!
Jamie @ The Unlikely Homeschool says
I am one of the co-hosts of the Weekly Kid's Co-op Linky. I have chosen this post as one of my Top 3 and will be featuring it at as the intro to my linky tomorrow. You can have a look at http://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com.
Joan J says
I know you posted this awhile ago, but just saw it on Pinterest today. I do homework with my first grader grandson every afternoon, and have noticed that his math skills have actually gone down. This is going to be a fun way to re-enforce those skills he had at the beginning of the school year! Thanks for posting this.
Thanks, Joan. I always love comments, even on old posts! I hope you both have fun with this game.
What if you have a number 10 card in your hand? Then you don't need a pair and you just lay down one card?
Erica MomandKiddo says
Ha - good question, Brandy! That's what we did, but you could also remove the 10s before playing.
I'd love to know where you got, or what brand, the playing cards in the photo are. I have a 7 year old who would love them!
I believe they were made by Mudpuppy, but I don't think they make them anymore! Peaceable Kingdom makes a different style of solar system playing cards: http://amzn.to/2EztulB And these NASA ones are cool: http://amzn.to/2GkI7Wa
Thank you! I saw the Peaceable Kingdom ones on Amazon. I'm in Canada, and they are crazy expensive on the ".ca" Amazon site. I'll keep my eyes open at our local toy/ games stores.