Number Maker: A Card Game to Practice Place Value
Got a kid who's tired of worksheets but stuck on place value? Here’s a super fun game to get in some place value practice!
What You Need:
- Deck of cards
- Paper and pencil
What You Do:
- Give each player paper and a pencil. Each player should draw five blank lines on his or her piece of paper, representing each of the values up to the ten thousands place.
- If your child isn't quite comfortable yet with numbers of this size, you can start off with numbers up to the thousands place (four blank lines instead of five) and gradually work your way up.
- Assuming you'd like to start with values up to the ten thousands place, though, here's how it would look: PLAYER 1 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ PLAYER 2 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
- Spend a few minutes sorting through the deck of cards. Remove any face cards and jokers. Using only the number cards and aces (which in this game, count as ones), shuffle the deck and turn all the cards face down in a pile. Take turns drawing numbers from the pile. Each time a player gets a new number, she should write it in one of her digit positions--her goal is to make the five-digit number as big as possible.
- Continue drawing cards until all five place values have been filled in. Then have each player read aloud her number. The winner of the game is the person who has created the largest number.
- After your child has reached a point of comfort and confidence in this game, discuss game strategy ideas. What place value position is the most critical in creating the largest (or smallest) number? Which are the best numbers to record in the ten thousands place? In the ones place?
Want to shake it up?
- Try using extra digits--go to six, seven, eight, or nine places, for example
- Change the objective of the game to create the smallest number.
- Include the joker cards to represent “0”, or make them Wild Cards in which each player can determine its value.