Math facts are a key component of early math instruction. The key is to keep addition and subtraction instruction fun, hands-on and motivating for young learners. I made the Valentine’s Day Addition Activity with Ten Frames as a fun Valentine themed way for kids to practice important math skills. Using ten frames and candy hearts, kids practice learning and recognizing the number bonds of ten.

Knowing how to make ten is a valuable problem solving skill that really contributes to overall number sense. This free Valentine’s Day math activity offers all the things: It’s cute and engaging, it’s visual and hands-on, it targets multiple math skills, and…it involves candy hearts!

– Life Over C's valentine ten frame addition number sentences

Recommended Grade Level:

Valentine Ten-Frame Addition Supplies:

  • Printer/Ink
  • Paper Cutter
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Dry Erase Marker
  • Conversation Hearts

Learning Addition Facts to 10 in Kindergarten

TEN FRAME CONVERSATION HEART MATH Game

ADDITION UP TO 10 IS AN IMPORTANT MATH GOAL IN PRIMARY GRADES. KIDS NEED LOTS OF REPETITION AND PRACTICE TO GAIN FLUENCY.

I love using ten frames in kindergarten. It is a wonderful visual representation of the number, and it guides kids to find the correct answer every time.

While single digit addition worksheets and free printables are great to assess how kids are progressing with learning facts to 10, kids need more engaging ways to practice. They will become bored with math worksheets over time, even Valentine math worksheets aren’t the same as a fun game.

There are a variety of ways to use the Valentine ten frame math mats. Adapt and get creative as needed to suit the needs of all of your learners.

You could also turn this into a partner kindergarten addition game! One student picks a ten frame and fills it in with missing hearts while the other writes the number sentence. Then they switch and repeat.

The candy heart math mats teach more than addition facts to ten. Use the activity as an opportunity for further thought and math talk:

  • What is the sum?
  • How many more hearts do you need to make 10?
  • How many hearts are already on the ten frame?
  • What numbers add up to 10 (addends)?
– Life Over C's This cute, printable conversation hearts ten frame set is a great way for kids to practice making ten, as well as learning to write number sentences!

What Can Preschoolers Learn While Working With Ten Frames and Hearts?

VALENTINE’S DAY MATH WORKSHEETS AND GAMES

TEN FRAMES, WORKSHEETS, GAMES, AND ACTIVITIES PROVIDE A VARIED WAY FOR KIDS TO LEARN AND PRACTICE IMPORTANT MATH SKILLS.

The Valentine ten frame mats teach a variety of math skills:

  • Ways to make ten
  • Number sentences
  • Addition symbols
  • Addition vocabulary (sum/total/addends)
– Life Over C's These free printable Valentine Conversation Heart Ten-Frames are great for practicing addition facts! Use number bonds, counting on, and several other strategies while letting the kids play with candy!

Why Is It Important For Kids To Play Addition Games?

Children learn best when the learning feels easy and fun. Playing math games encourages practice with a ton of important skills while cleverly disguised as a fun game!

Number Sense: Playing math games improves numbers sense which is the ability to understand, compare/contrast, and relate numbers to each other.

Automaticity: When children effortlessly (automatically) know basic math facts, it makes more complex computations easier.

Vocabulary: Encouraging kids to use math vocabulary while playing games (sum/difference/total/greater than/less than)is a meaningful way to practice.

Cooperative Learning: Simple games with partners or small groups give kids a lot of practice with social skills, like taking turns, following rules, and winning/losing.

How to Make the Valentine’s Day Ten Frame Addition Activity

To Prep:

First, print and cut out the ten frame mats. I suggest printing on card stock and then laminating. That way students can write their number sentences with dry-erase crayon and erase when they are finished.

Once the mats are ready to use, give students a mat and a handful of conversation hearts.

To Use:

Fill in the empty spaces on the ten frame with candy hearts. Write a number sentence by first recording the number of printed hearts on the ten frame on the first blank line. Add the number of candy hearts placed on the mat and record on the second blank line. Record the sum (10).

For example, the mat with three printed hearts, students would place seven candy hearts on the empty squares, and then write 3 + 7 = 10.

– Life Over C's These free printable Valentine Conversation Heart Ten-Frames are great for practicing addition facts! Use number bonds, counting on, and several other strategies while letting the kids play with candy!

Add More Addends

Students can fill the ten frame with random candy hearts. Then have them write a number sentence based on the colors of their hearts. If there are two printed hearts, and then they add three pink, two purple and three green, they could write

2 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 10

Graphing

A candy hearts graphing activity pairs well with this ten frame activity. Provide a blank graph and give students a handful of hearts. Label each column with a color. Have them graph the hearts by color by placing them in the appropriate column.

Oral Math

Saying each number sentence out loud can help kids remember their facts to ten. After each mat is filled in, have students orally call out the number sentence. They can even use the commutative property and switch the addends around to say a different equation with the same sum.

– Life Over C's valentine ten frame addition number sentences
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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