Mathematics – Games for learning place value


Understanding place value is an important skill that children must master to be able to work with other mathematical concepts. A poor understanding of place value can lead to lots of other problems in mathematics.

How can we revise and consolidate knowledge about place value without it becoming too much of a chore?


Here are some games that you could use as an introductory activity, or, alternatively during a plenary or in a short ‘mathematics meeting’ or as a fun / challenge activity for early finishers. Most of these would be suitable for KS1 or early KS2 although could be adapted to make them suitable for upper KS2 too.

I have based these activities on some from this book, but adapted them and created my own resources to go along with them – all of which are available for you to download below by clicking on the relevant links.

You could also click here to learn about some no-prep games for learning place value which you can use during starters or transitions.


Number criteria


Apply and consolidate place value knowledge to meet the criteria


0-9 digit cards (I recommend 1 page i.e 2 sets for each pair)

Number criteria table (1 per child)


  1. Play in pairs.
  2. Shuffle the digit cards and deal 5 to each person
  3. Each person tries to make a number to fit the criteria in the table e.g. the biggest possible number
  4. The person who meets the criteria best gets 10 points
  5. The other person gets zero points
  6. Write the numbers created and the points into the table ( If you like you can laminate a set for your class to save paper and have the children use whiteboard pens)


Know your place


Practice place value by placing digit cards in the correct place, decided by reading the number words


0-9 digit cards (I recommend 2 pages i.e. 4 sets for each pair)

Know your place sheets (editable to suit your class, 1 per child)


  1. Play in pairs
  2. Shuffle the digit cards and place in the middle
  3. Take it in turns to draw a card
  4. Place the card on your sheet if you can, if not return it to the bottom of the pile
  5. The first person to  complete their numbers correctly wins



Gharial’s mouth


Show understanding of the < and > symbols in mathematics


Gharial’s Mouth sheets (2 on one A4 page, cut in 2 for one for each child)

Dice ( 1 for each pair) (2-4 dice for variations)



  1. Play in pairs (though can play in larger groups too)
  2. Take turns to roll the dice
  3. Put the number into one of the empty boxes
  4. Once the number has been written it cannot be moved
  5. Get a point for each ‘correct’ number sentence
  6. Variation – play with two or three dice and make larger numbers – this gives pupils the opportunity to show their knowledge of place value by manipulating the numbers created e.g. rolling a 2 and a 6 could make 26 or 62


What do you think?

Could you use any of these games in your classroom?

Could you recommend any other games to me?

Thank you for reading and I hope that the resources are useful! Please leave me a comment to let me know how you used the resources in your classroom.





4 Comments Add yours

  1. There are some great games here. Thank you for the post!


  2. Liking the games, I have made my own place value grids and got children to move the numbers along using number cards. This helped them to see the actual physical change. Keep those games coming!


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