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10 of the best 100 square activities

In my 20 years of teaching, one very inexpensive resource I got a huge amount of use and value from was the humble 100 square. Great for building children’s confidence and awareness of number, whilst encouraging lots of mathematical language; they are also especially easy to send home with a few suggested activities. Here are 10 of my favourites from Reception to Year 2.

Posted on Tuesday 11th October 2016

Hundred squares are a great resource for Maths. Why not have a go at one or more of these simple games? All that is needed are 100 squares (filled in/ blank), dice and counters.

Download our FREE 100 square grid – blank hundred square and numbered hundred square here.

100 square

1. Cover-up

Cover up one or more squares using counters. The child has to guess which numbers are hidden under the counter/s.

2. Adding and subtracting 10

Add or subtract 10 from any number. What is happening to the number each time? (The units will stay the same and the 10s will increase or decrease by 10.) After some practise children will be able to go down the columns to add 10 and up the columns to subtract 10. Therefore, they will need to find this out by counting along 10 at first.

3. Adding or subtracting game

Use the 100 square as a ‘snakes and ladders’ type board.

Roll a dice, say the number, count the squares and move your counter. Or use two dice, add the numbers and move your counter. So, either move from 1-100 by adding or from 100-1 by taking away.

4. Race to the target

Use a blank 100 square. Time how long it takes to fill in the numbers. Begin up to 20, 30 or 50. Repeat to see if they can improve on their time.

5. Missing numbers

Draw pieces of the 100 square on the blank side with only some of the numbers filled in. Children think about the numbers and the patterns to fill in the empty spaces.

100 square

6. Squares

Highlight a 2 by 2 square.

What do you notice? Is it always the same? Add the numbers in opposite corners.

100 square

7. Patterns

Cover the multiples of 2, 3, 5 and 10 etc (one multiple at a time).

Use the patterns to predict which numbers will be in the sequence.

100 square  100 square

8. Finding 100

Find pairs of numbers on the hundred square that total 100. How many different pairs can you find? Which two numbers do not have a partner?

100 square

 9. Digit sums

Use counters to cover numbers on the hundred square whose digits add up to 10. Explain the patterns that you notice. Use a different colour counter to cover numbers whose digits add up to 9, 8, 7 etc. Can you explain what is happening each time?

10. Counter collect

Cover the numbers on the square with counters. Throw two 0 – 9 dice and make a 2-digit number. Work out which counter the number is hidden under. If you are right, keep the counter. If you are wrong, put the counter back down. How many counters can you collect in 5 or 10 minutes? Play again and try to beat your record.

Download our FREE 100 square grid – plain and numbered here.

hundred squares blank

Encourage outdoor maths by fixing one of these to a wall in the playground. Children may also want to draw one out in chalk on the playground, This Outdoor Hundred Square Chalkboard features a grid with numbers 1-100, available in either ascending or descending format. Providing a visual representation of numbers 1-100 to help embed and master early maths concepts in your outdoor area. The robust chalkboard is ideal for a range of activities, from counting and mark making to number games and patterning.

100 square outdoor chalkboard

Help children develop their understanding of number and counting and how numbers work together. Also, they can be used as a visual aid and to bring maths into other outdoor activities for example mark how many pine cones have been collected. Pair with a set of dice and use as a game board. Use coloured chalk to create patterns and sequenced on the board.

These great value wipe-clean hundred squares are ideal for exploring number, patterns and sequences both outdoors and in. Available in descending and ascending numbers they also enable children to understand ordinal numbers in different ways.

With thanks to Beverley Smalley for writing this blog. Beverley is an education specialist, writer and former primary school teacher.

Check out our blog article on 10 top ways to tackle times tables here.

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Read more about Maths Mastery and Fraction action along with free downloads here.

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