Looking for a quick fun game that also helps teach and reinforce the meaning of the different parts of a number? Give this a try. All you need is a deck of cards.
Six Card War
This is a game my son's second-grade teacher showed me. It's quick and easy to play, and great for reinforcing the meaning of digit positions. Not only that, it's fun too. You can play it with 2-4 players, but I think it's best with two.
Setting up the game
Take the face cards and jokers out of a deck of cards. Shuffle the deck and deal them out six cards to each player.
After looking at your cards, arrange them in a face-down pyramid in front of you, so the row at the top has one card, the middle row has two cards, and the third row has three cards. After everyone has arranged their cards, reveal the first row. Whoever has the highest number collects the cards. If it's a tie, then no one gets the cards.
Next, reveal the second row of cards. Notice that this number has two digits, with the leftmost digit being in the ten's place. Again, whoever has the highest number gets the cards.
Finally, reveal the last row of cards. In this case, the number has three digits, with the leftmost digit being in the 100's place. Again, whoever has the highest number gets the cards.
After all cards have been collected, whoever has the most cards wins.
Strategy and Educational Value
It won't be long before players realize that having higher value cards to the left is the strategy for winning. Fortunately, that's exactly the lesson the kids need to learn, that the leftmost digit is the most significant. There is still some strategy, though. For example, what should the second digit of your bottom row be? You could use your second highest card there, or use it to try to take the second row.