Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Editorial Team
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As easy and fun as numbering can be for kids, place value, even though it is a core aspect of mathematics, can be dull and boring to learn. However, it is imperative for kids to know the fundamentals of place value to get a comprehensive grasp on math. Teaching concrete, abstract, and conceptual methods of number learning may be what the value in place value stands for. And even if not, it still cannot be missed!
But how to make kids learn and place value in an interesting, interactive, and engaging way? Well, try board games! If there’s anything else that kids love more than their ice cream then it’s games and plays. After all, fun and play can make Jack a wise boy, if he learns place value through board games.
Board games in math can liven the spirit of the classroom at school and at home offering an exciting learning mode. Therefore, in this post, we will talk about some place-value board games that can help your child understand the concept better. Let’s explore many such place-value board games that can add value to your next math lessons. Read more below.
Board games and learning
A growing body of research suggests board games can contribute to better learning for kids. For example, a recent study found that board games can improve children’s executive functioning skills, including working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. These are important skills for academic success.
The authors of the study say that their findings highlight the potential of board games as “a promising educational tool” for enhancing executive functioning skills in children.
So how do board games help with learning?
One way is by providing opportunities for repeated practice. For example, children who play board games must remember rules, plan their moves, and make decisions. This gives them lots of practice with important executive functioning skills.
Another way board games help with learning is by promoting social interaction. When kids play together, they have to communicate, take turns, and cooperate. This helps them develop social skills that are important for academic and life success. So if you’re looking for a fun way to help your child learn, consider adding some board games to your family’s game night repertoire. Not only will you be providing valuable practice with important skills, but you’ll also be creating opportunities for quality family time.
Therefore, below are some fun and ingenious place-value board games that will help students enhance their math skills like no other. Have a look:
Board games that can help your child master place value
1. Didax Place Value Safari
This is a fun board game with the theme of a jungle safari, as the name suggests. There is a hungry tiger on the prowl.
How to play?
Didax Place Value Safari can be played with four players. There are a variety of simple maths tasks that need to be completed to move ahead on the board.
- The players choose one of the four boards.
- This board must be filled with base 10 units and rods if they have to escape the tiger.
- Solving each mathematical task ensures getting a rod or a base unit which helps the game proceed.
- The game board is colorful and has animal graphics that keep the child interested and add to the fun aspect of the game.
- The first player to cover the entire board with units and rods is the winner.
This very innovative game adds the challenging element of saving oneself from the tiger. The math tasks, therefore, seem less cumbersome.
2. Dino math track
This is a Math-based board game where a maximum of 4 players can participate. An interesting game that is based on a pre-historic theme.
How to play it?
- To play Dino math, one must accept the challenge posed. For instance, the dinosaur runs 125 miles and then runs 250 more.
- The submissive part of the player comes when he/she has to calculate the total miles run by the dinosaur in order to move upward with that many counted places.
The game engages kids with basics like place value, addition, and counting for beginners. It is best suited for kids aged above 5. It also helps a child learn.
3. Maths stack place value game
This is a unique game that can be played with a maximum of four players.
How to play it?
- Students take turns drawing match cards and, using mental math calculations, look for the equivalent starter card on which to stack it.
- They have to stack up the cards in correspondence to the one drawn by the earlier player. For example, if a player has drawn a card and another draws one similar to the card, the card is stacked on it.
- Once a four-card stack is made, it can be collected. The card stack is collected by the person who has placed the fourth card.
- The person with the most stacks at the end of the play wins.
Each Math Stacks game contains a total of 60 cards. The Place Value deck includes 15 starter cards and 45 match cards in total. This is a game that sets the learner’s thinking and helps to sharpen skills in mental math.
4. Place Value Mystery House Game (Lakeshore Learning)
This game is designed to help kids learn place value. Players take turns rolling dice and moving around the board, collecting cards representing different objects. The game’s object is the first player to reach the finish line with the most valuable collection of objects. Players will also practice identifying numbers in different forms, such as base ten blocks and expanded notation.
How to play it?
- To play this board game, each player has to choose a pawn.
- On your turn, the player should roll the dice and move their pawn that many spaces around the board.
- If you land on a space with an object, take a card from the draw pile and place it in front of you.
- If you land on a space with a number, read it aloud and identify its place value. If you have any base ten blocks, you can use them to help you count.
- The first player to reach the finish line with the most valuable collection of objects wins the game!
This game is a great way to help kids learn to place value in a fun and interactive way!
5. Rise and Shine! (Really Good Stuff): A place-value pancake trail
This game is about learning place value through a fun, pancake-themed activity! Players will work together to create a delicious pancake trail while practicing their place value skills.
How to play it?
- Each player will need a copy of the game board and a dice to play.
- Players will take turns rolling the dice and moving their markers along the path.
- When they land on a space with a pancake symbol, they will draw a pancake at that spot on their game board.
- The goal is to be the first player to reach the finish line with a complete pancake trail!
This game helps teach place value because it provides a concrete, visual way for students to see how numbers can be broken down into smaller units. It also helps them to understand the relationship between different place values (such as tens and ones). By playing this game, students will better understand the place value, which will help them with other math concepts such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
6. Place Value Grab & Play (Lakeshore Learning)
This game is designed to help children learn place value. To play, students will take turns drawing cards and placing them correctly on their game board. The first player to fill up their board correctly wins!
How to play?
- To begin, each player will need a game board and a set of place value cards.
- Shuffle the cards and deal them out, so each player has an equal number.
- Place the remainder of the card’s faces down in the center of the playing area.
- The player with the card with the highest number will start the game.
- The number on the card will determine which position it goes in. For example, a “3” would go in the ones position, and a “30” would go in the tens position, and so on.
- Once a player has placed their card, their turn is over, and the play passes to the next player clockwise.
- The game continues until one player has correctly placed all of their cards.
This game is a great way for children to practice identifying place value. To win, they need to be able to correctly identify which position each number goes in, which will solidify their understanding of place value concepts.
Place Value Bingo is a game that helps kids learn place value. The game is played with a deck of cards, each of which has a number on it. The game aims to match the numbers on the cards to create the highest possible number. The game is won by the player who creates the highest number.
How to play?
- Each player is dealt a hand of five cards to play the game.
- The player with the highest number on their card starts the game and plays passes clockwise.
- On their turn, a player must either draw a card from the deck or exchange one of their cards with the top card from the discard pile.
- They then place one of their cards face up in the center of the table.
- The other players must attempt to beat the number by playing a higher number from their hand.
- The first player to run out of cards wins the game.
The game helps learn place value because it helps kids understand how numbers can be combined to create larger numbers. It also helps them understand the value of each digit in a number.
There are many different place-value board games available for kids to play. Each game has its own unique rules and goals. But all of these games share one common goal: to help kids understand place value. Place value is an important concept in math. It helps us understand the value of each digit in a number.
And it’s a crucial foundation for understanding more advanced math concepts. So if your child is struggling with place value, consider getting them a place-value board game. These games can be a fun and effective way to help your child learn.
- Rosas, R., Espinoza, V., Porflitt, F., & Ceric, F. (2019). Executive Functions Can Be Improved in Preschoolers Through Systematic Playing in Educational Settings: Evidence From a Longitudinal Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 470549. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02024
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,