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55 Amazing Alternatives to Place Value Worksheets

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Photo of Cassie (Teach Starter)
Updated | 7 min read

Place value worksheets. You either love them or you hate them. Okay, that’s probably not true, I’m sure many of you have a perfectly neutral emotional response to using worksheets in the classroom. It has become clear to us, however, that finding quick and easy alternatives to teaching with worksheets can be hard. Particularly when searching for hands-on place value activities.

Well, search no more! Here are over 50 activities and printable resources to help you create some hands-on place value activities for your students to use instead of place value worksheets.

What is Place Value?

“Place value” refers to the value of a digit in relation to its position in a number. It is an important concept to understand as it is a major factor in understanding numbers, their value and how to apply numbers to operations.

While place value worksheets have their place in building numeracy skills, these hands-on place value activities will help ensure that all of your students have multiple and varied opportunities to engage with place value and build confidence in their own skills. Many of these games make excellent stations for Maths Rotations.

Single Digit Place Value Activities

Check out these super fun activities that help teach the value of single digits.

Alien Eyes Number Game

Alien Eyes place value game for lower primary students

  • Download, cut out and laminate a few sets of the Alien Eyes Number Game resources.
  • Place students into pairs and provide each pair with a set of alien templates, alien eyes and number cards.
  • Students pick a number card then place the matching number of eyes onto their alien. The student with the alien with the most eyes wins!

1-20 Clothes Line Number Cards

  • Download, print and laminate the 1-20 number cards.
  • With pegs, ask the students to attach the numbers to a piece of string in sequential order, creating a clothesline of numbers.
  • For a challenge, have some of the numbers already attached and ask the students to identify which numbers are missing from the clothesline.

Here are some more of our best single digit place value activities:

2 Digit Place Value Activities

The Number Pattern Robot

Number Pattern Robot - place value activity - mathematics activity for primary school kids

  • This is a fun place value activity to help students identify number patterns and their rules.
  • Download, print and laminate sets of The Number Pattern Robot templates and number cards.
  • Students place a rule in the robot’s tummy, then place a number either side to match the rule.
  • Encourage students to record their rules and number patterns after they have made them on their robots.

Place Value Spin

2-digit place value spinner game

  • Download this fun Place Value Spinner resource.
  • Choose between a MAB spinner and a 0 to 9 digit number spinner.
  • Print, cut and laminate a ‘tens’ and ‘ones’ spinner and attach the arrows with a split-pin.
  • Place students into small groups. Provide each group with a ‘tens’ and ‘ones’ spinner and each student with a worksheet.
  • Students spin the ‘tens’ spinner and the ‘ones’ spinner then record the two-digit number they have made onto their worksheet.

Here are some more of our practical two digit place value activities:

3 Digit Place Value Activities

Place Value Castle

Alternative to place value worksheets - Build a Place Value Castle!

  • Download, print and photocopy a class set of the ‘hundreds’, ‘tens’ and ‘ones’ cut-out worksheets.
  • Students then cut out as many ‘hundreds’, ‘tens’ and ‘ones’ as they wish and glue them onto a large sheet of butcher’s paper, creating a castle.
  • When they have finished, ask the students to count the number of ‘hundreds’, tens’ and ‘ones’ they have used to create their castle and record it in the place value table.
  • Students then write the total value of their place value castle and glue the strip onto their butcher’s paper.
  • To make this activity even more fun, provide students with a set of Fairy Tale Posters so they can cut out the illustrations to decorate their castles. Ensure that you print the posters 9 to a page to match the scale of the castle.

3-Digit Place Value Cacti

3 digit place value activity - placing number sombreros onto cacti

  • Download, print, cut and laminate the 3-digit number cacti cards as well as the hundreds, tens and ones sombrero hats.
  • In small groups, students pick a card, say the number on the card, then make the number by placing the corresponding number of hundreds, tens and ones sombreros on top of the cactus.
  • Alternatively, provide the students with the blank cacti cards and have the students roll three different dice to determine the 3-digit number.
  • As an extension, encourage students to record and expand each number in their workbooks.

QR Code Scavenger Hunt

Check out these additional, hands-on three digit place value games:

4 Digit Place Value Activities

I Have, Who Has? Game – 4 Digit Place Value

A fun, whole class four digit place value game

  • This is a whole-class game to consolidate students’ understanding of place value.
  • Download, print, cut and laminate the 4-digit place value game cards. Provide each student with a card.
  • The student that has the sentence ‘I am the starter’ begins the game by standing up and reading their card.
  • Once they have read their clue, the student that has the matching number on their card stands up and reads what is on their card.
  • The game continues until the last person reads out ‘I am the winner’.

Race Up the Rounding Ladder Game

A fun ladder race, 4 digit place value game

  • This is fun game for students to play in pairs to consolidate their understanding of rounding to 10, 100 or 1000.
  • Print out and laminate copies of the Rounding Ladder game board and number cards.
  • In turns, students must round the numbers on the number cards to the nearest 10, 100 or 1000 (depending on what is decided before commencing the game). If they round the number up, they move up the ladder on their game board. 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.
  • More comprehensive instructions on how to play the game are included in the resource.

Here are a few more fun, four digit place value activities:

5 Digit, 6 Digit and 7 Digit Place Value Activities

5-Digit Place Value Warm Up Interactive PowerPoint Game


To activate the interactive functions on this PowerPoint, ensure that you have ‘enabled editing’ and are viewing the PowerPoint as a ‘Slide Show’. Please note that this PowerPoint is a large file and may take extra time to download.

  • As a class, work your way through the 20 problems presented on the 44 slides.
  • Students choose the correct answer from an option of four. When they select the incorrect answer, the PowerPoint will ‘buzz’. When they select the correct answer, the PowerPoint will ‘chime’ and transition to the answer slide.
  • Use the answer slide for student sharing and additional learning opportunities.
  • Implement this interactive PowerPoint as a warm up prior to lessons, or as a daily revision when concluding a lesson.
  • Add new slides and create your own class questions and answers using the editable function in the PowerPoint.

Multiply It or Divide It Board game

A four digit place value, multiplication and division game.

  • This is a board game to play in groups when learning to multiply and divide numbers by 10 and 100.
  • Download, print and laminate the Multiply It or Divide It gameboard and instruction page.
  • Stick the question cards and their associated label (multiply or divide) together and laminate them.
  • Students work their way around the board, following the instructions on each square they land on. The winner is the first person to reach the finish square.
  • More comprehensive instructions on how to play the game are included in the resource.

Check out these other five, six and seven digit place value tasks:

Wow! Is that not an amazing collection of hands-on place value activities?! There’s a whole lot of creativity bouncing around the brains of our experienced teachers here at Teach Starter, and they work hard to make sure you can create the most excellent active learning experiences in your classroom.

That said, if you also love a good place value worksheet here are some of our favourites!

Place Value Worksheets

1 Digit Place Value Worksheets

2 Digit Place Value Worksheets

3 Digit Place Value Worksheets

4 Digit Place Value Worksheets

5 Digit and 6 Digit Place Value Worksheets

We also have a fantastic collection of full unit plans, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations and Maths resource packs for parents to help you teach place value.

Click on any of the images below to view the resource:

Exploring 2-digit place value unit plan and lesson plans - Teach Starter

Exploring 3-Digit Place Value Unit Plans and Lesson Plans by Teach Starter

Exploring 4-Digit Place Value Unit Plan and Lesson Plans by Teach Starter

Exploring 5-Digit Place Value Unit Plan and Lesson Plans by Teach Starter

Exploring Numbers - Unit Plan and Lesson Plans by Teach Starter

Place Value - Maths Resource Pack for Parents - Homework Help


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