Decimal Problems and Drills: Sample Math Problems for Kids

After mastering basic operations with whole numbers, kids learn about partial numbers, like decimals and fractions. Your child may need additional practice solving decimal problems, in part because decimals can be difficult for kids to visualize. Try out some of these sample decimal problems.

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How to Write Sample Decimal Problems

Your child's teacher may be able to give you worksheets for decimal practice, but if you need more, you can easily write your own. Before writing the problems, find out what decimal concepts your child is studying.

Kids often start by learning how decimals are constructed and how to identify decimal place value. They may then move onto decimal arithmetic, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It can be fun to practice decimals by using money because dollars and cents are often easier for kids to visualize than pure numbers. Use money as your theme when you write decimal word problems for kids.

Decimal Problems by Concept

Place Value

Problem: What number is in the thousandth place in the number 1.842?

The answer is 2 because the place value immediately to the right of the decimal is the tenths place, followed by hundredth place, thousandth place and so on. Kids often get decimal place value confused because they forget that it starts with tenths rather than one. It's important to practice place value, though, because it's used in more advanced decimal problems.


Addition: 3.42+5.59

Subtraction: 9.21-3.2

Multiplication: 2.9x3.1

Division: 9.8/3.1

Your child will likely start with decimal addition and subtraction in 4th or 5th grade. Addition and subtraction are fairly easy because kids just need to write the problem vertically and make sure the decimal points line up. Decimal multiplication and division are more difficult and will probably be taught in 5th or 6th grade. Kids often need a lot of practice in order to master these operations.

Decimal Word Problems

Problem: Jack has $3.21 and wants to buy a glass of lemonade for $1.50. How much money will he have left after he buys the lemonade?

This word problem uses money to practice decimal subtraction. Teach your child to identify keywords, like 'have left,' in order to figure out which operation to use.

Problem: Dinah spent $17.20 to buy 4 books that each cost the same amount of money. How much did each book cost?

This problem also uses money to practice decimal arithmetic; this time, it's a division problem. If your child has trouble figuring out that he or she needs to use division, you can use real money as a manipulative or hands-on tool.

Advanced Problem: Lindy's car gets 35.2 miles per gallon. If she drives 300 miles, how many gallons of gas will she use?

This decimal division problem is more advanced than the other problems and is probably better suited for kids in 5th or 6th grade. Young children might have trouble understanding what miles per gallon means. As you create word problems, think about scenarios to which your child can relate.

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