Place Value Games

Pinch a Ten


  • Kidney Beans
  • Paper and Pencil
  1. Students predict how many times they can pinch (grab) exactly 10 beans.
  2. Students predict how many times they can pinch 10 beans in 10 tries.
  3. Students create a table to keep a tally of their results.
  4. Have students repeat the activity to see if they can improve their results. Students may use popcorn or other objects instead.  They may even add up the total amount of beans that they pinched after ten tries.
Pinch a Ten: step 3, students create a table to keep a tally of results
Less Than 10 10 More than 10


Pick a Path


  • 2 dice
  • Game board


  • The object of this thinking game is to work together to fill in the game board with numbers in the range of 11 to 66, going from the smallest to largest number.
  • Discuss with students that they will be using the dots on the dice to represent digits and they will use these to create two-digit numbers.  For example, if they roll a 2 and a 3, they can make the number 23 or 32.
  • Students begin by recording the number 11 in the first circle and number 66 in the last circle.
  • Students roll the dice and write the two possible two-digit numbers on a piece of paper. They then decide which number to add to the board and where to place it.
  • Play continues until all circles are filled.  However, if students roll two digits that do not crate a number that can be placed on the board, then the game ends and they have to start over again.
Pick a Path game board

Digit Place


  • 2 players
  • Paper
  1. One player picks a 2-digit number. (The digits should be different)
  2. The other person tries to guess the number.
  3. For each guess, the first person tells how many digits in the guess are correct and how many of the correct digits are in the correct place.
  4. A chart may help keep track of the guesses.  Do not tell which digit is correct - just how many.  
    chart for digit place game
  5. Play again with the other player guessing this time. Can also use 3-digit numbers.


The Largest Number


  • 2 players
  • Deck of cards without face cards and without 10s (Ace=1)
  1. Shuffle and deal the deck
  2. Players turn over three cards from their pile.
  3. Players create the largest number possible with the three digits they have turned over.
  4. The person with the largest number wins the 6 cards.
  5. Continue to play until one person wins all the cards or play for a specific amount of time.

Extension: Play the same game by forming 2-digit or 4-digit numbers.