Maths Games for Kids: Place Value War

I love adapting games that help revise the concepts Immy is learning at school and this version of the card game War is perfect for place value revision for children in the early grades. Best of all, all you need to play is a deck of cards.

Math Card Games for Kids: How to Play Place Value War

Place Value Games: How to Play Place Value War

Number of players: Best played in pairs.
Equipment needed: A deck of Uno cards or playing cards per pair – you will just need the number cards so remove the action or picture cards before play. A second set of cards is helpful if you are playing with thousands as you will move through the cards in one deck quickly.

Instructions for play:

1. Deal the cards into two (for playing with tens), three (for playing with hundreds) or four (for playing with thousands) piles per player.

2. To begin play, each player turns over the top card from each of his piles. The player with the number of highest value wins the skirmish, placing all of his own and his opponents cards into a prisoner pile.

3. Repeat until all of the cards have been played. The player with the most cards in his prisoner pile is the winner.

Hints & Variations:

  • In each round, each player is allowed to re-arrange the cards they have turned over in that round to make the largest number they can. The player who can make the number of highest value wins the skirmish.
  • Instead of capturing and counting prisoner cards, the winner of each skirmish scores one point, with the scores being recorded on a piece of paper. The first player to win an agreed number of rounds (say 10) is the winner.
  • Be sure to emphasise that players must identify the number they have made verbally in each round.
  • To check her level of understanding, as I play with Immy (second grade) I will ask her (randomly) to identify which numeral is in the ones, tens, hundreds or thousands position.

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