Playing in the snow is so much fun!  At the first sighting of any snowflake my kids are ready to bundle up, head outside, and make a snowman or have a snowball fight.  There are however days when it is too cold to head outside, or there is no snow.  Which is when I have the perfect activity for you.  This Free Printable Snowball Gross Motor Place Value Practice First Grade activity is a great substitute for an outdoor snowball fight.  Your kids will love practicing place value skills while getting some energy out at the same time!

– Life Over C's winter snowball counting activity for kids gross motor math activity

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Place Value Gross Motor Math Game for Kids

  • Paper
  • Laminating Materials
  • Scissors
  • Plush Snowball
– Life Over C's This large number place value "War" card game will have your students comparing numbers to the millions and thousands place values with an exciting card game that is great for a partner math center.

This activity is not only excellent hand and eye coordination practice, but also wonderful for gross motor skill development. It is the perfect first grade math place value activity for even the most high energy kids.

With an adorable snowball theme, this winter math activity for first grade is perfect for little ones dreaming of when the next snowstorm will be!

Gross Motor vs Fine Motor Skills:

You may have realized by now that I love to talk about fine motor skills.  They are just so incredibly important for children and there are endless activities you can do to help strengthen them.

Well, equally as important as fine motor skills are gross motor skills.

Fine motor skills are the movements of the small muscle groups of the hands, fingers, and wrists.  Gross motor skills involve the use of larger muscle groups in the arms and legs.

Gross motor activities help strengthen muscles and allow the whole body working together to do skills like running, jumping, crawling, or throwing.  Fine motor activities help develop more precise skills like picking up small objects, coloring, and zipping up jackets.

How To Help With Gross Motor Development:

  • Add movement to your activities. Any activity that uses the large muscle groups is great!
  • Create an obstacle course for your child. This is a super fun activity for kids! Indoor or outdoor courses can be easily created and will be loved by your child.
  • Act out the alphabet! This will get arms and legs moving in ways they aren’t used to moving!
  • Play red light/green light and add in some fun movements like running, jumping, hopping, and skipping!

What Is Place Value?

When students identify the place value of a number they are telling how much the digit in a certain location of a number is worth.  

Example:  In the number 547 the digit 5 is in the hundreds place, making it worth 500.  If the number changed to 754, it still has the same digits, but the value of the digits change.  The 5 moves to the tens place, making it now worth 50.

Identifying place value is an important skill for kids to have because it helps give them a better understanding of concepts like regrouping in addition and subtraction.

If you aren’t quite sure how to teach place value to first grade students, this activity is a great way to start!

This first grade place value lesson is a wonderful way to get moving and practice place value skills for numbers from 100 to 999.

– Life Over C's The cut out snowball number printables for the Snowball Gross Motor Place Value Practice activity.

How To Use This Place Value First Grade Activity:


Print the numbered snowballs onto white card stock paper.  Laminate the pages, and cut the snowballs out.

Scatter the snowballs around the room.  You may want to put a piece of masking tape or duct tape onto the bottom so that they do not move around.

Have your child throw their “snowball” at one of the numbers (we have a set of stuffed snowballs, but a sock filled with fluff, bean bag, or a wiffle ball will work great too). They will then run to the number and read that three digit number aloud to you.

– Life Over C's A kid pointing at the ones place on a Snowball Place Value Practice printable.

Another variation is that you can call out a number, and then your child can throw their “snowball” at the number, run to retrieve their snowball and read the number to you.

Both ways are great for hand eye coordination, gross motor skill development, and place value practice!

– Life Over C's A kid pointing at the tenths place on a Snowball Place Value Practice printable.

More Ways To Use This Activity:

  • Give clues for a number you want your child to throw their snowball at.  I see a number that has a 9 in the tens place.  I see a number that is five more than 200.  I see a number that is odd and has a 7 in the hundreds place.  I see a number that is less than 300.
  • Speed number reading:  Have your child quickly pick up 5 snowballs off of the ground.  Have them read them as fast as they can to you!
  • If you have more than one child doing the activity at a time, have them hold up their number after they read it.  They can work together to put the numbers in order of least to greatest or greatest to least.
  • After your child practices reading the number, ask them about the number. What digit is in the tens place?  What is the value of the 4 in that number?
  • This activity is designed for 1st grade students, but you can adapt it for other ages! You can create your own snowball cards to practice fact families, count by tens, read teen numbers, or numbers greater than 1,000.

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– Life Over C's winter snowball counting activity for kids gross motor math activity
– Life Over C's
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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