Smallest Number Challenge


The purpose of this activity is to help your child learn to order decimals with three decimal places.

Link to Number Framework:

Number Sequence, Stage 7-8.

What you need:

  • A set of cards with the face cards and number ten in each suit removed
  • 2 small round objects to represent a decimal point, for example buttons

What to do:

Play the Smallest Number Challenge, a game for 2 players.

  • Cards are shuffled and placed face down in a pile.
  • The first player draws 4 cards and turns these over. They use these cards, and a button, to make the smallest number possible with three decimal places. For example, if the cards 6,8, 5 and 4 are drawn the number, 4.568, is made: 
  • The next player takes their turn by drawing four cards and using these to make a number that is smaller than the number made by the previous player. They must use all the cards and the number must have three decimal places.
  • Play continues in this way until one of the players is unable to make a number smaller than their opponent’s. Their opponent then wins that round and scores a point.
  • The first player to reach 5 points is the winner.

What to expect your child to do:

  • Think about the placement of digits within each number so they can make the smallest number possible.


  • Largest Number Challenge - players have to make a larger number instead of a smaller one.

Related Māori vocab:

decimal numbertau ā-ira
smallestiti rawa atu
smalleriti ake
decimal pointira

Download a file of this activity:

PDF (466KB) or Word (45KB)

Download a file of this activity including questions to ask in Māori:

PDF (562KB) or Word (48KB)