Elementary Decimal Games and Activities

Decimals are introduced in fifth grade. If decimals are giving your fifth grader difficulty, try using the hands-on activities below to give your child some extra practice at home.

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Overview of Fifth Grade Decimals

In fifth grade, your child will be learning to read, write and compare decimals to the thousandths place. Your child will also use his or her knowledge of place value to accurately round decimals. While your child may use decimals on a daily basis with money, he or she may still find decimals to be difficult in math problems. The activities below will allow your child to work on decimals in a fun, interactive way.

Decimal Bingo

Before beginning this game, create bingo cards with a variety of decimal amounts. Write the same amounts on index cards, which will be used to call out a number. Mix up the index cards and call out one decimal amount at a time. Have your child mark her bingo card when the number is found.

The purpose of this game is to help your child read decimal amounts correctly, so be sure you use the correct terminology when you read the number aloud. For instance, 4.20 would be read 'four and two tenths'. The game will continue until your child has marked five decimal amounts in a row.

Decimal Target

For this game, you need dry beans, which will represent decimals, and a deck of cards with the face cards and jokers removed. Turn five number cards face down in the middle of the table. These will be your target cards. To begin play, turn over the first target card. Deal each player four cards, which he or she will use to create two 2-digit numbers. If player one has the cards two, four, five and nine, then he could create the number 2.4 or 5.9.

Each of the numbers he creates must contain a decimal; the player can decide where to place the decimal. The player whose sum is closest to the target card wins all cards for that round of play. A new target card is turned over for each round; the player with the most cards at the end of the game wins!

How Much Money?

Use your latest receipt from the grocery store to help your child practice math operations with decimal amounts. Pose questions about the receipt to your child and have her calculate the amount spent on specific items. For example, you can ask her, 'How much money did I spend on canned drinks?' Incorporate subtraction into this activity by asking questions, such as how much more did the spaghetti sauce cost than the spaghetti noodles. Provide your child with lots of practice by changing the way you ask your questions.

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