Third Grade Math Decimals: Games and Activities

Hands-on materials are a great way to help your child improve his or her understanding of decimals. Consider using the activities below to provide your child with extra practice at home.

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What Does My Third Grader Need to Know About Decimals?

In third grade, your child's knowledge of decimals will be somewhat limited. However, in second grade, your child learned how to count money, which involves decimal amounts. Additionally, at the fourth grade level, your child will learn how to convert a fraction to a decimal.

To best help your third grade child with decimals, it is a good idea to review how to count, add and subtract money. A thorough review of fractions will also help prepare your third grader for more advanced math involving decimals.

Peppermint Fractions

For this activity, you will need a bag of peppermint candy and a deck of cards without the face cards. Players will take turns drawing two cards from the deck and creating a fraction. For example, if a player draws a five card and a nine card, then he or she would create the fraction 5/9. After creating a fraction with the cards, each player will model the same fraction using the peppermint candies. Players will compare their created fractions to determine whose fraction is the largest.

Decimal Match-Up

Before beginning this game, label pairs of index cards with a monetary amount in number form and a drawing of the same amount. For instance, one pair may show five nickels and $0.25. Mix up the cards and turn them face down on the table. Players will take turns flipping over two cards in search of matching amounts. If a match is made, a player keeps both cards. At the end of the game, the player with the most cards wins!

How Much Does that Cost?

Help your child practice counting and adding money by setting up your own store at home. Pull out items from your pantry and label each with an amount less than $1.00. Provide your child with a supply of various coins and create sample scenarios that will require him or her to add the amounts and pay for specific items.

For example, tell your child you want him or her to buy the pack of cookies and a can of soup. The cookies are priced at $0.50 and the can of soup is $0.10. Your child will need to add the two amounts and pay you $0.60. Depending on your child's ability level, you may want to only have him or her paying for a single item, or you may choose to include several items at a time.

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