What's in a place?

6 - 8 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Grandfather and grandson play with colored tokens

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 1-2 curriculum include:

  • gradually learning to count, read and write two-digit numbers (eg 36), then three-digit numbers (eg 402), up to 1000
  • counting by tens and hundreds to build a sense of the size of numbers
  • representing numbers with objects (for example, finding out how many buttons are in a jar by making piles of ten)
  • comparing numbers and putting them in order, starting with either the smallest number or the largest
  • understanding place value.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Practice place value

‘Place value’ refers to the way that the same digit has a different value depending on where it is placed in a number. For example, the digit 6 has the value of six hundreds in the number 642, but the value of six tens in the number 462.

These ideas will help your child practice place value as a natural part of games and everyday activities:

  • practise counting by tens and by hundreds while doing other things with your child
    Let's count by tens as we walk home. I wonder how far we can get!
  • find large groups of objects and help your child count them by making piles of ten and counting the piles
    Let's count how many buttons we have by making groups of ten.
  • when you come across two-digit and three-digit numbers, help your child break them down
    The newsletter says your school has 361 students - that's 300 + 60 + 1!
  • when you find sets of numbers, help your child put them in order from smallest to largest
    Let's cut out the pictures for the toys that you like, and order them by their price. Then it will be easy to compare how much they cost.
  • play the Place Challenge together:
    Take (or create) a set of cards with the digits 0-9.
    Deal each person two cards.
    Each person arranges their cards to make the biggest two-digit number they can.
    The biggest number wins!
    Increase the challenge by taking three cards and creating three-digit numbers.

Go online

For online reinforcement, Wishball: Hundreds will give your child practice at:

  • understanding place value (ones, tens and hundreds)
  • doing simple addition and subtraction.



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Last modified
7 April 2020