Finny made a Super Mario tray for our very own Yoshi. We were looking at place value.

What is place value?

Place value is the value of each digit in a number. It is important that children understand that while a digit can be the same, its value depends on where it is in the number. 

For example, the 5 in 350 represents 5 tens, or 50; however, the 5 in 5,006 represents 5 thousands, or 5,000

Often, these will just appear with letters on them to represent each position:

Millions, Hundred Thousands, Ten Thousands, Thousands, Hundreds, Tens, Ones, tenths, hundredths, and so on. 

The examples below, look at Hundreds, Tens and Ones and are represented on the tray as HTO.


  • Lego Yoshi, Toad and Bowser
  • Grimm’s Large Stepped Pyramid
  • Place Value Disks
  • Bath crayons


They have recently been building Toad, Yoshi and Bowser from Mario Kart out of loose Lego. Finny decided to use them in his Place Value work.

“Toad and Yoshi are having a race. How many boulders do they pass?”

Then, Bowser had to count the numbers he jumped on and write the number in numerals.

The completed tray:

DfES National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 3 programme of study

Number – number and place value

  • recognise the place value of each digit in a three-digit number (hundreds, tens, ones)
  • compare and order numbers up to 1000
  • read and write numbers up to 1000 in numerals and in words
  • solve number problems and practical problems involving these ideas.