20+ Hands-on Ways to Teach Place Value

Teach place value, numbers, decimals, and greater than/less than with these hands on elementary math activities! Use printables, manipulatives, and more!

Teach place value, numbers, decimals, and greater than/less than with these hands on elementary math activities! Use printables, manipulatives, and more!

20+ Hands-on Ways to Teach Place Value

Place Value War – Childhood 101

Start a war – a place value war!


Place Value Scavenger Hunt – Primary Theme Park
These place value activities require little to no prep and are free or low cost. Try this scavenger hunt – look through magazines or newspapers to find the answer!
DIY Math Cups – And Next Comes L
Turn Dollar Store glasses into math cups! You can use them for quite a bit, including teaching greater than/less than.

Math Ideas for Kinesthetic Learning – First Grade Smiles 
If you have kinesthetic learners, try these life-sized ideas for teaching greater than, less than and number recognition.
Exploring Greater Than and Less Than with Playing Cards – Better Than Homework
Roll out a deck of playing cards for this great than and less than activity. It helps bring a free visual to the concept!

Place Value Yahtzee – Games 4 Gains 
Use these free Yahtzee printables to turn place value into a game!
DIY Place Value Cups – The Imagination Tree
Use styrofoam cups to help reinforce place value. This activity is low cost and can easily be a springboard to other ideas.

Ice Cream Place Value – The Stem Laboratory
With scoops of (construction paper) ice cream, practice place value!
Place Value Leaves – Rainy Day Mum
Use a homemade branch and leaves to teach numbers!

Easy Peasy Place Value – Undercover Classroom
Who knew you could use a pill box to help teach place value? Here’s one third grade teacher’s genius trick!
Pool Noodle Greater than, Less than Activity – Planning Playtime
Use pool noodles to help reinforce the concept of greater than, less than!
Number Line Activity with Place Values –  Hands On as We Grow
Create a number line in your living room to help teach place values.

Place Value with Food – Step Into Second Grade
Break apart numbers to teach place value with food! Use real food or make your own with construction paper.
Whack it! Stomp it! Place Value Activity – Creekside Learning
You’ll need a flyswatter for this place value activity/game. It’s free, easy, and low prep!

Guess That Number – A Love for Teaching
Similar to “Guess Who?,” use this opportunity to practice numbers!
Place Value With Building Blocks – Teach Me Mommy
Have some extra building blocks laying around? Grab a Sharpie and use them to teach place value.

Decimal Place Value Mats – Classroom Freebies
If you’re new to decimals, use these free printable value mats to practice ones, tenths, and hundredths.
Greater Than or Less Than Monsters – Simply Kinder
Use this simple clothespin monsters to teach greater than and less than! This is a great way to reinforce the “alligator” trick.
Place Value Robot – No Time for Flash Cards
With a homemade robot, teach the different parts of place value!

Place Value Toss – Saddle Up for Second Grade
Encourage your students to get up and dance with this place value toss! You’ll need some bean bags and bins for this activity.
Snowball Place Value Activity – Life Over C’s
This gross motor activity is best for homeschool or a small group setting.  Grab the free printable to go along with it!

Looking for more ways to creatively teach math? Try The Ultimate Math Cheat Sheets!

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