First, let us understand what place value is before doing any place value math games with our kids. Place value is the value of a digit based on its location in a series of numbers. Let me illustrate to you the concept of place value which you and your kids can easily comprehend.
Let us take the numbers 1 to 0 as an example and line them up like this:
Let me show you the place value of each number in the above series:
- 1 = Billion/s
- 2 = Hundred Millions
- 3 = Ten Millions
- 4 = Millions
- 5 = Hundred Thousands
- 6 = Ten Thousands
- 7 = Thousands
- 8 = Hundreds
- 9 = Tens
- 0 = Ones
It would be easy to create place value math games for your kids! Here are some of them which you can do at home:
- Get out that old set of playing cards and separate the Jacks, Queens and Kings and use them as zero (0). Also, use the Ace cards as No. 1. Then announce the numbers you want them to create, example: Two Thousand Three where they will have to pick out the following cards: 2, Jack, Queen, 3 or Twelve Thousand Ninety with the cards Ace, Two, Jack, Nine, Queen or Ten Thousand Fourteen can have two correct sets of cards: 10, Jack, Ace, Four or Ace, Jack, Queen, Ace, Four. Kids will have a fun time with this game and to make it harder you can require that the numbers should only be in the same suit.
- You can also cut out colored papers (2 x 3 will do) or index cards then give your kids 10 pieces each and a pen. You can write down 10 numbers in words on individual sheets of typewriting paper. Then show these to all the kids one at a time, the first kid who finishes writing down his answer must run to you and show you his answer. If the answer of the kid is correct he will leave the sheet of paper on the table and the rest of the kids must hold on to their answers. However, if the answer is wrong the next kid who has an answer must come forward to present his answer. After all the 10 numbers in words have been gone through, the kid with the most number of index cards on the table wins.
- You can collect 4 or 3 different sizes of bottles caps of 10 caps per size. Label the caps from 0 to 9 per cap size. The biggest sized caps will be the thousands place value, the next in size will be the hundreds and so on. You and your kid can play one-on-one with you announcing the number you want your kid to create and then using the bottle caps your kid can arrange on the table the correct number sequence. This will help you train your kid on place value concept but with speed and accuracy.
You can device other easy place value games using homemade equipments, scrap materials, old toys and/or tools. One good example is using an old dart board label each segment as ones, tens, hundreds, etc. Then you can ask your kid to throw the number of darts that should land at a specific segment after you have announced the number you want. Example: Three hundred twenty-two - there should be three darts in the hundreds place, 2 darts in the tens place and two darts in the ones place.
What is important here is to be able to train and practice your kids through easy and fun games so that they will be able to easily grasp the concept of place values in mathematics.