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Decimal Games for Kids

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Get your students interested in learning about decimals with these fun games. Read this article for easy-to-follow directions and some additional ideas for teaching students about this concept.

Rounding War

Use this fun game to help kids get used to rounding decimal numbers.

Supplies:

  • Notecards
  • Markers

How to Play

Get ready for this game by designing your cards. You'll want to write decimal numbers on each card (dollar amounts can be used to get students' attention). Once your cards are ready your students can play in pairs. One student should flip over the card. The first student to correctly round the number to the nearest whole number wins the round and gets to keep the card! You can have students play 5 rounds, or for a certain amount of time. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins!

Your students can keep working on this math skill with these lessons on rounding numbers and how to round decimals.

Dunk a Decimal

Play this game to help students learn how to convert whole numbers to decimals.

You'll Need:

  • A trashcan
  • Paper balls
  • Paper and pencils

What to Do:

Each student gets a turn practicing their aim with this game. Give your students ten paper balls and instruct them to throw them into the trash can. They should keep track of the number of shots they make and the number of shots they miss by writing them down on paper. Once the class has finished the sporting portion of the game, it's time to find the ratio of their success with decimals.

You can use this lesson on decimals to help your students understand how to convert their shots and misses into decimal numbers. Once they're ready, have them check how well they did and report their answers by showing their conversion steps on paper.

For example, if a student made 7 throws they should show a success ratio of 0.7 and a miss ratio of 0.3. You can repeat this game if students need more practice.

Build a Number

This game is a fun way for students to practice constructing large decimal numbers.

What You Need:

  • Playing cards (no face cards and tens)
  • Scrap paper and pencils

How to Play:

This game can be played in pairs or small groups. Have your students set up their papers before they begin. They should draw five columns and label them with hundreds, tens, ones, tenths and hundredths. Have them place the decimal point between ones and tenths. You can use this lesson on place value to help students understand why the decimal point goes there.

Once the students are ready, have one student in each group shuffle the cards and deal five cards to each player. Students then examine their cards and set them up in the largest number they can. For example, if a student has a 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, the goal would be to have them place the numbers in this order: 543.21.

The student who creates the largest number wins the hand and gets a point. Have all of the students record their number on their paper, taking care to properly place the decimal point. Students can play this for 3-5 rounds. The player with the most points wins!

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