*This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.
We love playing with LEGO at our house. My son asks for new LEGO sets for every birthday and Christmas and then builds and rebuilds his creations during quiet time. I have recently harnessed his enthusiasm by using LEGO bricks to teach him everything from math to reading to science. Today I am going to show you how to use LEGO math to teach place value.
My five-year-old is very bright, with math being one of his very strong subjects. However, he was having a difficult time grasping the idea of place value. No matter what I tried to draw for him on paper or explain to him in words, he just couldn’t understand what I meant when I said something like, “Eighteen is one ten and eight ones,” or, “Twenty-two is two tens and two ones.” He just looked at me like I was crazy. It was too abstract. That is, until I pulled out the LEGO bricks and our place value flip chart and showed him. Suddenly the idea of place value became concrete and he understood it perfectly. Now he can add two-digit numbers together with ease after this one simple lesson. Using LEGO math worked a miracle!
How to Teach Place Value Using LEGO Math
All you need to do is designate one column as your “10’s” and the other column as your “1’s”. Choose a number on your flip chart and then arrange your LEGO bricks to reflect that number. Easy! Take turns choosing numbers and arranging them with LEGO bricks. Turn it into a game! Have fun with it.