Rainbow Maths Place Value Activity


Try this FUN, hands-on rainbow maths place value activity teaching tens and ones to Kindergartners and/or 1st graders.   This colorful and tasty place value activity is sure to be a hit! 

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rainbow maths place value activity

Teaching place value can be a tricky concept; thus why hands-on manipulatives are key to helping young learners visualize what each numeral represents.  Touching and manipulating objects is especially helpful for visual and tactile learners.  Not to mention the addition of a tasty treat for Base 10 blocks will be much appreciated for those that love to eat while learning...  or those who just love to eat! 

Rainbow Maths Place Value Activity

  • Rainbow Place Value Printable
  • Pipecleaners (cut in half)
  • bowl full of cereal **
  • scissors
  • page protector **
  • laminating sheet **

To keep in tune to our rainbow theme, we used the ALDI brand fruit loop cereal.  You could use name brand or even cherrios, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ALDI cereal!  Seriously though, it taste wayyyyyy better than another well-known brand out there and doesn't have crazy ingredients like red dye.  

OR!  if you'd rather forgo the food route, you can use beads!

Teaching tens and ones rainbow maths activity

Teaching place value begins with understanding that numbers are orderly; each number has its own place. 

Begin counting numbers 0-9, placing a new piece of cereal in the "ones" column as you count.  Reinforce that only *1* numeral can be in that spot!   

Now, when you get to 10 there are now two numerals.... so what do we do?!  We make a new column: the "tens" place! 

Show your child how to string the nine cereal pieces onto a pipecleaner and add one more to make 10.  You now have a ten "block."  Place your new ten block in the "tens" column.  

Then continue counting, adding a new cereal piece to the ones column, until you get to 20.   The numeral 20 has 2 tens, so now another pipecleaner of 10 needs to be added to the tens column.

If your child is still new to place value, it may be helpful to write out the numbers as you count.

Continue making bars of 10 with cereal until your child shows understanding of the concept.

teaching place value tens and ones

To use this rainbow maths activity more than once or with multiple children, it may be helpful to laminate and/or place the place value board in a sheet protector, as well as laminate the number cards included in this printable.  Totally optional though!  

Included in the printable are 12 number cards to help reinforce teaching tens and ones. 

rainbow maths place value activity

Once your child has gotten the hang of how to count using the cereal, have him/her pick a number card and build the number with their cereal base 10 blocks!  

Learn and snack at the same time!!  Can math get any better than this?!  

Enjoy this fun, hands-on rainbow maths activity!! 

rainbow maths place value

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This activity was inspired by The Measured Mom's Free Place Value Activity.

More Rainbow Maths Activities:


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