10 Hands-on Activities To Practice Rounding Decimals

What is rounding? What exact methods are used in rounding decimals? Do you think it is tricky? Rounding is a method used to estimate a specific figure in a given circumstance. While rounding decimals, for instance, look at the next digit in the correct position to round a number; if it is less than 5, then round down; if it is 5 or more than 5, then round up. That’s basically it! –

Rounding decimal is quite easy to grasp if explained in an innovative and basic way. We can round decimals to a specific number of decimal places or a specific accuracy. When exact values aren’t required, this is utilised to make calculations and results relatively understandable. In this post, we will share how you can make rounding decimals fun by utilising these hands-on activities!

How can you make teaching rounding fun? – Hands-on activities

Rounding can be tiresome for students. Hands-on games and different activities are one of the most innovative and exciting ways to introduce rounding decimals. Transforming pedagogies into games drive youngsters to like them. Evidently, these are the paramount sources to create curiosity. Teachers or parents can utilise these hands-on decimal rounding activities to teach their kids rounding calculations. Below is a list of hands-on decimal rounding games:

 1. Roll to Row

Roll to row

The objective of the game is to be the first player to make a four-in-a-row line on the game board (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). This game involves 2 players. Each player rolls the dice, the player who gets the higher number would be the first one to go. Next, each player would roll the dice on their turns. 

From the numbers that come once the player rolls the dice, they need to make numbers, for example – if the numbers come out to be 1,3,5— the player may make 135,315,531,153,513 and many more. Now, they round the number you created to the nearest tenth/hundredth or thousandth— this entirely depends upon the game you are playing. 

Now comes the role of the game board, through the various numbers that the player makes using the three digits, they need to choose one of them and place their counter on that number. The ultimate goal of the game is to create a four-in-a-row line of their own.                                           

2. Round it Nimble

Round it Nimble is a multiple-choice maths game in which youngsters must round figures to the nearest tens, hundreds, or whole numbers.

There are two separate game modes to choose from. The first has a number line, which is a great way to introduce the concept of rounding. On an interactive whiteboard, this mode is a useful teaching aid. In this method, the student would draw a number line and round to the nearest tenth, hundredth, or thousandth. 

This activity has more than one method. The second one is slightly more challenging. This is because it includes decimal rounding without using the number line. In this method, the student is not allowed to draw a number line or use one. They just need to round the number to the nearest tenth, hundredth, or thousandth. 

This activity can be played in the form of a quiz in class, where the students can be divided into teams. The ultimate goal can be to get the highest number of correct answers to be the winning team.

3. Deck Rounding

This activity needs you to have a set of number cards or any standard playing cards. To start with, remove the face cards. Let’s Look into the process in detail:

Step 1: Divide cards into two piles of equal numbers in each.

Step 2: Each student takes 2 cards (for a two-digit number). For instance, a pupil picking 5 and 2 will count their number as 52. 

Step 3: Each student has to round off the acquired number and write it out in a piece of paper.

Step 4: This process repeats for 10 times for each student. Once all students finish their attempts the results on their paper are evaluated. Wrong answers if any are explained to ensure kids don’t repeat them again. 

4. Top Up Decks

This easy to fabricate activity can be designed for students in different grades with little effort. Due to interactivity, this activity is the best fit for a single learner or a small group of students. 

Step 1: To start with, a student picks up a card and covers the number on it from other students. Similarly, all other students do the same on their turn. 

Step 2: In the second and later rounds, students must check if the new card reads a number greater than the previous one.  For issuance, if the card picked in the first round is 4, then the card in the next round should read 4 or more than 4. If not, they stop picking from the next round. 

Step 3: Once every student gets their set of cards, they arrange to get numbers. Say, a student got 2, 3, 4, and 2. He arranges the cards accordingly to read the number 2342.

Step 4: The number acquired is the question which the students need to round them off.

Now, they can round them off to submit their answer to the instructor.

This activity can be made complicated by making an operation on acquired numbers before rounding them off. If they had to practise decimal rounding, they may be asked to divide the obtained number by 100, and then ask them to round. 

5. Pull Numbers to Round

Indulging in this activity will stimulate students to generate the highest decimal numbers with playing cards.

Step 1: Divide students into small groups of five. 

Step 2: Remove face cards and jokers from the deck set and shuffle them. Keep the set on the centre and ask a student group to sit around.

Step 3: Each student should pick up a card on their turn and keep it before them. Others can see it.

Step 4: Step 3 is repeated 6 times so that each student gets 6 cards.

Step 5: Now the kid arranges the cards in such a way that they get the largest number possible. For instance, if a pupil gets 1,3,5,2,7 and 4, he may arrange them as 754321.

Step 6: Once the group is ready with their numbers, they need to read their numbers aloud with decimals and rounding off. Say, for 754321, the decimal can be 75432.1 and the rounded-off number is 75432. 

Once all the five students are done with turns of reading out, they can either shuffle the cards to get a new number or repeat the activity again. 

This activity encourages students to consider the place value of digits in decimal numbers and how the location of each digit affects the total value of the number. It can also be a strategy that keeps kids thinking about the chances of drawing various cards while attempting to form the highest decimal number possible.

6. Rounding with MAB Blocks

MAB blocks (Multi-base Arithmetic Blocks) are employed in preaching whole numbers to early schoolers. These can be an appreciable pick to design a hand-on activity for decimal rounding. Before incepting, students need to be ensured that a block never has the same value. Say,  in one question, the value of a unit block may be 1, while it may be 100 in another.  

Here we will look into one engrossing activity with these blocks.

Step 1: Designate a value of each block to start with, Here we consider the value of a block to be 0.001.

Step 2:  Assign a decimal that needs to be rounded off to the students.  Say, 0.134

Step 3: Comprehending the value of a block, ask them to represent the number with the blocks. Here the block representation would be A flat ( for 0.1), 3 rods (for 0.03) and 4 unit blocks (for 0.004). 

Step 4: Once the blocks are arranged, the kid compares the blocks to determine the nearest decimal number (rounded to one place). In this case, They need to examine and remove 4 unit blocks. 

Step 5: Now, the student writes the answer on their paper. Here the answer is 0.13.

This process can be repeated to practise. For higher grades, this activity can be complicated by offering a complex decimal (say, 0.58421) and asking them to round to 2 or more decimal places.

7. Decimal Shading Activity

To learn the basics, decimal shading worksheets are issued for early schoolers. These can be a great practising resource to employ in rounding activities. 

Step 1: Hand over a worksheet with at least two grids in it to students.

Step 2: Now, assign a decimal number that needs to be rounded to 1 position. Say, 0.74

Step 3: Ask the student to shade the decimal on the sheet. Here, a kid needs to shade 74 out of a hundred grids. This gives out an illustration of the decimal number. 

Step 4: The learner now examines the grid to determine the rounded-off number. Here, 0.7

Step 5: Now the answer is shaded on the second grid, Here 70 grids are shaded out of a hundred. Accordingly, the answer is determined to be noted in the answer sheet as 0.7.

8. Number Line Activity

The number line is an enticing way of learning numerical. These can account for rounding off activity. To start with, every student is provided with an empty blank number line (on a piece of paper). Now, they are given a number to be rounded off. Students mark numbers in the number line and determine the nearest number to be rounded off.

Number Line Activity

For instance,  if the number provided is 12.74. The student marks the numbers from 12.1 to 13 in the number line provided and infers that it is nearer to 13 than 12, thus resulting in answering 12.8 as the answer.  

9. Grocery Rounding

Here, students are put in a real-life scenario to determine rounded-off values of the numbers. To start with, the learner is given a question to which the answer is to be determined. Say, a two-pound cake needs 1.5 pounds of flour. Now the student may need to determine how much four needs to be acquired from the grocery store for a five-pound cake, provided that the store sells flour in a 1 pound pack only. Here, learners need to estimate the flour needed for a five-pound cake (3.75 pounds) and then round it off to find the amount to be purchased (4 pounds- 4 packs).

10. Cups and Sticks

When students begin to infer how decimals are rounded, they can now be asked to segregate numbers accordingly. To start with, the instructor takes around 100 sticks and writes decimal numbers on it.  Then 10 cups are taken-each labelled with a rounded number. Now, the student is asked to sort the sticks into their respective cups. 

cups and sticks

For instance, sticks numbered as 10.338, 10.3433, and 10.282 are sorted into a cup labelled as 10.3. Mastering this activity ensures quirky rounding abilities. 


We can conclude that, when described in a fun and creative way, the concept of rounding decimals is rather simple to grasp. Teaching kids using hands-on decimal rounding games will motivate them to learn better, which in turn will help them gain confidence.

Not to mention, teaching and learning may ideally be carried out in a fun manner! Teachers should enjoy creatively teaching their students and students should enjoy learning. Conventional study patterns can, oftentimes, be monotonous. Especially, a subject like mathematics that requires rigorous attention and patience. Thus, introduce these hands-on games in class and help improve both the learning and growth of students.

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