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6 Place Value Games for the Classroom

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Photo of Alison Smith
Updated | 4 min read

It’s time to put the worksheets away and to play place value games!!! Check out these engaging and creative ways to teach your students the value of a digit!


Read on to find out more!

Place Value Missiles

If you are looking for an active way to teach place value, I think I’ve found just the right place value game for you. Place Value Missiles is an action-packed game that involves targeting numbers using airborne creatures to generate a two to five-digit number! 

To enjoy place value games dart style, you’ll need an IKEA LUSTIGT Dart game. It’s great value at just $24.99 and includes a reversible dartboard and six cute figures.

Activity Idea (small group or whole class):

  1. Encourage students to take it in turns to throw a missile.
  2. As a class, record the numbers hit.
  3. Arrange the digits to create a number with the greatest/smallest possible value.
  4. Expand each digit to show the value of each digit.

For more inspiring IKEA hacks read my blog 8 More IKEA Hacks for the Classroom.

Fishing for Place Value

This is a fun, hands-on activity that will ramp up the fun during maths groups! Thankfully there is no water involved.

This simple game is engaging, effective and easy to set up. To get started you need:

  • based tens blocks
  • small and strong magnets
  • blue-tac and string
  • a suitable fishing rod – (I used a ruler)
  • timer (optional).

To create this place value game, attach magnets to base ten blocks. Next, attach a piece of string to your fishing rod and a strong magnet to the end of the string.

How to Play

  • Encourage your students to fish for as many base tens blocks as possible in 1 minute.
  • Ask students to use their knowledge of place value to calculate the total value of their catch!

For more brain break activities read Holly’s blog 26 Brain Break Ideas for the Classroom.

Race Up the Rounding Ladder

Your students will love challenging each other using this fun, engaging place value game – 4-Digit Place Value Game – Race Up the Rounding Ladder

To play this place value game, your students will need knowledge and understanding of rounding numbers up or down to the nearest 10. This game also offers the option of rounding numbers to the nearest 100 or 1000.

How to Play

Working with a partner, students take it in turns to:

  1. Pick a card.
  2. Round the number on the number cards to the nearest 10, 100 or 1000 (depending on what is decided before commencing the game).
  3. If they round the number up, they move up the ladder on their game board.
  4. If they round the number down, they move down the ladder.

The student who reaches the top of the ladder on their game board first is the winner!

What’s My Card? Double-Digit Board Game

Our What’s My Card? Double-Digit Board Game has been designed to use in conjunction with a Guess Who? game board. Players try to guess their opponent’s mystery card by asking place value questions.

This teaching resource includes:

  • set of game cards (front and back)
  • set of mystery cards (front and back)
  • instruction page with possible questions players can use.

Look out for the printing instructions that come with this cool teaching resource. And don’t miss the What’s My Card? Resource Pack that includes heaps of other versions of this game that explore other learning areas.

2-Digit Place Value Card Game – Flip It!

Next up, it’s time to Flip It! This place value game is similar to the dice game Yahtzee. Students try to fill in a 2-digit number next to every place value clue on their score sheet. The player who has filled in the most numbers on their score sheet at the end of the game is the winner.

In this game, students consolidate their understanding of place value to hundreds.

But if your students are ready for more of a challenge try:

Expand It!

This is an exciting place value game of focus and speed. Quickly tap a light switch to illuminate a digit. Next, encourage your students to expand the corresponding digit to show its value.

When each of the digits has been expanded, as a class record the numbers as an addition statement. For example, 2000 + 400 + 70 + 6 = 2476

To create this cool place value game I used:

For more cheap and cheerful Kmart Hacks read my blog 9 Kmart Hacks for the Classroom.

Have Fun!

And finally, all that’s left to say is have fun!! Playing games in the classroom is one of the most effective ways to teach and learn. To find more about why playing games is important read our blog 10 Benefits to Playing Games in the Classroom.

For more place value games like these, head to our Place Value Learning Area.


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