Place value is one of those basic concepts that help kids build a wide variety of math skills. There are lots of fun place value activities you can use to help them understand, whether you’re working with basic tens and ones or have advanced to decimals with tenths and hundredths. Here’s a terrific collection of ideas to add to your upcoming lesson plans!

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

## 1. Start with an anchor chart

Help students understand and remember four ways to represent numbers and place value with an anchor chart. Turning the chart into a robot ups the fun factor!

Learn more: TeachingWithHeartinMind / Instagram

## 2. Read a book about place value

We’re not talking about the paragraph in their math workbook that explains the concept. We mean one of these engaging and entertaining place value books that capture kids’ imagination while helping them understand how place value works and why it matters. There are plenty of options out there—here are a few of our favorites.

## 3. Turn paint samples into place value sliders

Use the cutouts in paint sample chips as little “windows” for numbers. This is a fun and colorful way to introduce place value to your students.

ADVERTISEMENT

Learn more: The Brown Bag Teacher

## 4. Show it four ways

Ask students to demonstrate their understanding of place value by showing one number in a variety of ways. Get a free printable worksheet for this activity at the link.

Learn more: A Kinderteacher Life

## 5. Transform a pillbox into a place value manipulative

Stop by the dollar store for some weekly pillbox containers, then use our free printable labels to turn them into dice shakers you can use for all kinds of place value activities.

## 6. Stack place value Cheerio towers

Looking for more inexpensive math class ideas? Grab a box of uncooked spaghetti and some Cheerios to use for your place value activities!

Learn more: Mrs. J’s Resource Creations

## 7. Visualize place value with a foldable

Use sentence strips and dry-erase tape to create a reusable math manipulative that reinforces place value concepts and expanded form.

Learn more: Teacher Thrive / Teaching Place Value

## 8. Slide cards into binder pages

Use divided binder pages along with number and base 10 cards to show place value. Call out each digit and its place (“There’s a 3 in the thousands place”) and see if your students can make the correct number.

Learn more: Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits

## 9. Construct a tower of base 10 blocks

Base 10 blocks are a popular math manipulative, and they’re perfect for teaching place value. This activity challenges kids to use the blocks to find three different ways to build a structure representing 1,000. New to base 10 blocks? Here’s a good starter set from Amazon to try.

Learn more: Asheigh’s Education Journey

## 10. Figure out the place value of your name

Here’s another clever use for base 10 blocks. First, have each student use them to spell out their name. Then, count up the numbers of tens and ones blocks to determine your name’s place value!

Learn more: Differentiation Station Creations

## 11. Stack paper cups

While you’re at the dollar store, pick up some stackable paper cups. Number them 1 to 9 along the edge, and then use them to talk about place value as you stack them to create different numbers.

Learn more: The Imagination Tree

## 12. Build place value bugs

How cute is this little number bug? Use large pom-poms for tens and smaller ones for ones, then set them on a wood craft stick to create a number.

Learn more: Planning Playtime

## 13. Shoot for the target with LEGO bricks

LEGO bricks really are ideal for place value activities. Toss the bricks onto a homemade target with rings to represents ones, tens, and so on. Count the studs of each brick that lands on a place value ring, then add them up to get your final number. (See more LEGO math ideas here.)

## 14. Build understanding with LEGO bricks

You know your students love to build with LEGO, so use them to reinforce place value concepts too. Hands-on place value activities are always the most fun!

Learn more: Teach Me Mommy

## 15. Act out multiplying and dividing

Active math games are one of the best ways we know to get kids involved in their learning. Find out how to act out multiplying or dividing by powers of ten at the link below.

Learn more: Teacher Thrive / Powers of Ten

## 16. Play a game of Place Value War

Play this game with Uno cards or a classic deck with face cards removed. Each player has a number of piles (depending on which place values you’re working on) and lays down the top card from each. The players say the resulting numbers out loud (e.g. “five hundred thirty”), and the player with the highest number wins. For a fun variation, allow players to use the cards they flip to create the highest possible number.

Learn more: Childhood 101

## 17. Build a number

Kids select some number cards, then try to meet a series of challenges like making the largest number they can. Add in a decimal card to up the complexity of the game.

Learn more: Mathwire.com

## 18. Keep track of school days in a pocket chart

Each day, count how many days students have been in school this year by adding counters like 10-frames to a pocket chart. The number climbs as the year goes on, building from ones to tens to hundreds.

Learn more: Jillian Starr Teaching

## 19. Send them on a scavenger hunt

Grab a stack of old magazines and newspapers and let kids loose to find examples of the place value challenges set in this scavenger hunt. Hit the link below to get the free printable.

Learn more: Primary Theme Park

## 20. Shake things up with Yahtzee

Roll out the dice and try to beat your opponent as you fulfill the conditions of this special game of Yahtzee. Print the free game boards and get the rules at the link below. (Find more creative ways to use dice in your classroom here.)

Learn more: Games 4 Gains

## 21. Enjoy a game of Whack It!

What kid doesn’t love to whack things with a fly swatter? Put that energy to good use by having them slap the swatter down on the correct values as you call them out.

Learn more: Creekside Learning

## 22. Take a journey on the Place Value Path

This free printable game combines a traditional board game with bingo. Roll the dice to see which outer square you land on. Count up the number represented by the base-10 symbols, and mark it on your bingo board. When you get five in a row, you win!

Learn more: The Measured Mom / Place Value Games

## 23. Toss beanbags into place value bins

Combine hand-eye coordination practice with math skills in this place value game. Label bins for tens, hundreds, etc., and choose a number. Kids toss numbered bean bags into the correct bins to win!

Learn more: Saddle Up for 2nd Grade

## 24. Snack and learn with rainbow math

Use Froot Loops cereal pieces and pipe cleaners to learn tens and ones with this free printable activity. Don’t want to use cereal? Try beads instead.

Learn more: School Time Snippets

## 25. Use nuts and bolts to learn place value

Looking for inexpensive ways to represent base 10? Try nuts and bolts! You can pick them up in bulk at the hardware store, and it’s easy to replace them if they get lost.

Learn more: The Measured Mom / Nuts and Bolts

## 26. Make giant DIY ones and tens blocks

Cut squares of bright-colored card stock for ones, and tape together a series of them to create the tens. Then add smiley faces to the top just for fun, and have kids hold up the giant blocks to represent various numbers.

Learn more: The Kindergarten Smorgasboard / Giant Blocks

## 27. Cut a pool noodle into tens and ones

The nice thing about these DIY manipulatives is that they’re easy for little hands to handle. Cut pool noodles to represent tens and ones to give kids practice building numbers.

## 28. Solve a place value puzzle

Place value activities are still important for older kids. This advanced activity asks them to solve math word problems and write the solutions into the correct place on the grid. Get the free printable at the link below.

Learn more: Education.com

## 29. Complete a place value maze

This advanced place value activity gives students practice adding hundreds, thousands, and higher. They find the next correct answer in the maze as they go along. Visit the link for these free printable mazes.

Learn more: Math Geek Mama

## 30. Walk along giant number lines

We love place value activities that also get kids up and moving! For this one, use masking tape to create number lines for ones, tens, hundreds, etc., on the floor. Choose a number and use paper plates to mark the correct places on the number lines, or have kids stand on the correct mark instead.

Learn more: Hands On as We Grow