# Playing with the Base-10 blocks to practice addition

“Mom ! Could we play that game again?”.

Over Summer,  Rosie, my 6 year old daughter has enjoyed exploring the decimal system and operations playing with the Base-Ten blocks (see my previous post here if you want to know more about these blocks).

Since she asked me to play our latest game first thing in the morning,  it is probably worth sharing it.  So here I am.

Material:

• Base-Ten blocks (I usually use eNasco (website here) when I order math-related material, but you can find these Base-Ten blocks on Amazon as well). Each player gets:
• 1 Hundred (a plate of 100 Units, also called Flat),
• 10 Tens ((a bar of 10 Units called Rod or Long),
• 10 Ones (little cubes called Units)
• Die 0 to 9 (I love fancy dice, you can find them online (eNasco !), at a children’s store, etc, for 20-50 cents each). You can otherwise make a deck of 10 cards, numbered from 0 to 9.

How to play : Here come Woody and Buzz again for the demonstration !

• Both Woody and Buzz have a Hundred in front of them. They get 10 Tens, and 10 Ones. The goal? Covering the Hundred by adding Ones and Tens.
• Woody starts. He rolls the die/draws a card. He gets a 4. He adds 4 Ones to start covering his Hundred
• It is Buzz’s turn. He gets a  3. He adds 3 Ones on his Hundred.

• It is Woody’s turn. He gets a 7. Let’s the fun begin ! He uses his 6 Ones left to go to 10, trades the 10 Ones  for a Ten. And add 1 more One to make 11.

Woody gets a 7

Woody uses his 6 Ones left to go to 10

Woody trades his 10 Ones for 1 Ten

•  And so on until Buzz and Woody cover their Hundred.

What I like about the game :

• It gives Rosie plenty of opportunities to explore addition with a result reaching the next Ten. “e.g. I have 7, I get 6, I need 3 to reach 10. And add 3 more.”
• The game can be played at several levels
• practicing adding Ones and trading 10 Ones for a Ten, without formally keeping track of how many blocks are covering the Hundred
• modeling the addition of  two 1-digit numbers and  the addition of a 1-digit number to a 2 digit number