10 Engaging Games And Activities For Practicing Multiplying Decimals

As we move from basic applications in math to fractions and later on to decimals, the world of math begins to seem more complicated. This is a concept that can bewilder kids and adults both. A decimal is defined as ‘ a fraction whose denominator is a power of ten and whose numerator is expressed by figures placed to the right of a decimal point.’ For example, 0.5 in decimals is 5/10 which is ½. Once the elementary concept is clear, the next challenge is to use decimals to go to the basic applications. 

Now, why are decimals even necessary? The answer is simple. Decimals are used where more precision is required than what a whole number denotes. It provides accuracy in situations where knowing values are of great importance. Decimals are used in our daily lives, for money, weights filling gas, and much more. 

Hence, learning about decimals, especially to multiply them becomes tricky, yet crucial. And here, games and activities can be used to help students comprehend this concept in a simple and facile manner. 

Multiplying decimal: A testing concept?

Math can be exhilarating for kids who resonate with it, but there are a few concepts that can make this subject an uphill struggle and tough grind. While decimals as a topic might seem facile to students, there are plenty of activities and games that can be used to round them off or to introduce other decimal-related concepts. 

However, when it comes to multiplying decimals, this can be a tough nut to crack. Before digging into the activities, let us first understand why the concept can be drudgery for little learners. 

What makes the concept of multiplication difficult to understand for children?

When we multiply whole numbers, the answer obtained is larger than the numbers themselves. For example, 2*3= 6, and 6 is greater than 2 and 3.

But if we multiply 0.2 * 0.3, we get 0.06 which is smaller than 0.2and 0.3. If we multiply 8 by 0.3, we get 2.4 which is lesser than 8 but greater than 0.3. Another issue being the lineup of decimal numbers for any operation is completely different than the way whole numbers are lined up.

These facts make it confusing for the child. 

While math in itself can be quite electrifying, yet there can be a few ways in which certain concepts can work better. Inculcating these challenging and arduous concepts like multiplying decimals through games and activities can surely work in the favor of educators and parents, as it can make the whole learning process a lot easier. 

On this note, here are some games that will help to gain experience in multiplying decimals.

Games & activities for practicing multiplying decimals

1. Card game

Card game

A very enjoyable and challenging game played amongst two or more players with specially prepared cards. This activity is suitable for school, where a teacher is present to guide if the children find any difficulty with the multiplication. This game requires prior preparation on the part of the adult. A special set of playing cards are prepared, with a decimal multiplication problem written on each. 

When the cards are ready, the teacher distributes an equal number of cards to each student. For instance, 9 cards are provided to each pupil. Mentor gives around 10 minutes for the little ones to solve problems on each of these cards, to get an answer. This answer is now the face value of the card to start the game. 

One of the students shuffles the cards and picks one to keep it at the center of the players. Now, the next player checks for a card equal to or near to the number to put on it. If not, they need to take one more card from the stack and solve it. Similarly, the other players also take turns to find and put their cards. The one who showed the highest value in this round gets all the cards. The same process is repeated until all students except one is left with the card, they are the winner of the game. 

In our previous posts, we have also talked about the various dice games one can play to get a hold of multiplication. 

2. Bingo – Ticking Off The Answers

Bingo - Ticking Off The Answers

A game that needs more than two players, Bingo is a very enjoyable party game and can be modified to help learn and practice the decimal multiplication problems. Cards are pre-made for this game. There is a smaller set of cards where the teacher has noted down one decimal multiplication problem each on a card. 

On many other sheets on a grid, the solutions are noted randomly and other numbers as fillers. These sheets are distributed amongst the children. The teacher pulls out a card. The children solve the problem and tick out the solution if it is present in their sheet. The game goes on. The first person who has got the maximum answers right is the winner. 

This is a challenging activity as the children have to solve the problem and locate it in the grid. There is also a time constraint as the teacher calls out the next card in a while. The activity sharpens the child’s multiplication skills and tests the power of observation. Being an activity of greater difficulty, it is suitable for older kids who can multiply decimals with fairly good accuracy.

3. Jenga blocks

 Jenga blocks

Jenga – A game that can be enjoyed in a group. The regular Jenga blocks are arranged in a stack. A set of decimal multiplication problems are assigned for cards color-coded in the colors of the Jenga.

The child picks a card corresponding to the color of the block he has to pick and solves the math problem. He then moves ahead with the block and the game. All the children take turns doing the same. For every step of this activity, the students solve one question, thereby eventually ensuring admirable practice. Further, this game may be simplified by sticking a multiplication decimal problem to each block. This way the learner can use the piece only if the sum on it is solved. This game has a math challenge as well as provides the children a chance to enjoy the game. 

4. The four steps

Multiplying decimals often needs the students to follow four distinct steps. This activity ensures they are clear about these steps for precise solutions. 

Teacher draws four boxes on the floor in such a way that a student can hop between these boxes. These represent the four steps of decimal multiplication. One student is called upon and is provided with a decimal product sum.  The student holds a paper and pencil and hops into the first box. Here, they align the two numbers to the right to make it easier to multiply. Then, they hop into the second box and start multiplying each number from the right. This way, they get multiple products of each number.  Later, they hop to the third box and add these products to get an answer. Finally, they hope to find the fourth box and then determine the right place to put the decimal point in the answer based on decimal places in the question. 

5. Basketball game and decimal multiplication

Basketball game and decimal multiplication

This is a fun online basketball game that is played between two teams. The children are divided into teams. The bright, interactive screen displays images of basketball players from team Red and team Blue. The game begins with a problem that has multiple solutions as options. Once the right option is clicked, the team moves to the next question. Also, they get to score a free throw. 

It is then the turn of the next team. After many rounds, the game ends, and the team with a higher score wins. This is a fast-paced game that will keep the children focussed as the bonus throw requires quick moves. Through this game, the children learn to multiply decimals places up to five or sometimes even six. The difficulty level is medium and is suitable for 6-7 graders. This activity is simple and facile to practice with an edge that the pupils implicitly learn about four distinct steps, thereby ensuring a perfect strategy to solve. 

6. Simple game for multiplication

 Simple game for multiplication

This is a no-fuss, simple, and straightforward game where one has to answer questions to move ahead. The multiples are arranged in a vertical format to make the task easier. Scores are assigned for every right answer. 

Where the child finds it difficult, a hint is available. The hint option can be used only four times throughout the game. As the game has a moderate difficulty level, these hints can be utilized wherever necessary. The child learns to multiply numbers with various decimal places in each round. It is a game suitable for slightly older children as there are no additional graphics to present it in a story form.

7. Decimal jeopardy

Decimal jeopardy

Jeopardy may be one of the well-liked games for most people. An appropriate change in this recreation may be a good idea. This game fascinatingly ensures the same. 

The game starts with choosing the number of players and attire. Now, the game starts with 12 covers with three different operations: addition, multiplication, and subtraction of decimals.  Here, the user can choose one among three-four covers. Clicking on it, a multiplication problem is displayed on it, solving which can gain them a certain number of points. The same amount of score may be dedicated to the wrong answer. 

The multiplication sums here are of varying difficulties. Nonetheless, four options for every question are provided from which the student can choose one. This game may be picked for those who may even like to play in groups, which ameliorates competition.

8. Snakes and ladders

Snakes and ladders

This online game motivates the learners to play a turn of snake and ladder game for every right answer solved. The questions here are multiplication problem ones which may turn complex as the level increases.  The game is provided with a dice to roll and accordingly, the player can move forward. For every wrong answer, a chance is lost. 
The activity helps to practice the multiplication of decimals. In the eagerness to roll the dice, the child makes sure to try and get the right answer. Among a few online options available, this game may ensure engagement for a longer duration. Further, when a game is completed, the player can start another round of the game, thereby supporting long-duration practice as well.

9. Multiply decimals with a power of 10

Multiplying decimals with a power of 10

A simple and interactive online fun game for children about grade 5. There is an interactive screen that begins with a math problem that has four options as solutions. On clicking on the right solution, the child gains one coin and moves on to the next. 

In case of a wrong solution, the correct answer is displayed, and also the rule for multiplication is explained.

As it is multiplication using the power of ten, it is the simplest level in this series. By the end of the game, the child gets a fair idea of how to multiply decimals with the power of 10 easily. 

10. The Multiplying decimals song

The Multiplying decimals song

A lively song with beautiful animations takes the child through decimal multiplications. The song describes the process of multiplication in a very simple way. The human mind tends to remember better images and songs rather than lessons. Comprehending the same, this activity employs visual cues to ensure gripping knowledge for the students.  
To start with, the teacher may show a simple video that has a musical presentation of multiplication solving. Later, the mentor may assign students questions and ask them to salve with the same method by singing the song. This way, The child will gradually pick up the rules of multiplication by listening to the song repeatedly over a period of time.

Apart from the song, the students can choose the quiz options from the top of the page. The new screen appears with a question and a set of four options from which the learner can choose from.  These questions are mostly based on the placement of decimals in the final answer. This can act as an additional resource to ensure further practice.

Summing up,

The importance of decimals and the operations to be performed on them are different from those of whole numbers. Although it may seem unnerving in the beginning, with time we get enough experience to use it flawlessly in our daily lives.

Listed above were a few methods to facilitate the learning experience for children. Although the advent of gadgets has made math much easier, having sound knowledge of the basics is a skill that we must always be equipped with.

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