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Hot Cocoa Day! Place Value Activities

Hot Cocoa Day: Place Value Activities!

Are you wondering about the perfect way to combine place value practice with something delicious? Move aside M&Ms and Skittles – we are having a Hot Cocoa Day!

Hot Cocoa Day is the perfect way to have fun with your students while integrating a vital math skill to be mastered. Your students will love the theme of this math block, and I know it will be one they will bring up for the rest of the winter season.

Let’s dive into some tips and activities that make Hot Cocoa Day a five-star day for your students!

Hot Cocoa Hack for the Classroom

When you read the title of this blog, maybe you pictured yourself (or worse, your students) ripping open dusty packets of hot cocoa. Maybe you thought, “no thanks, Emily! You’ve had a lot of good ideas, but this isn’t one of them.”

Hear me out! I have a hack that will change your life and mess level.

Instead of trying to warm up 24 cups of water or hearing the impatient shouting of students waiting for their turn, pour store-bought chocolate milk into a crockpot. Let it warm up on the low or warm setting. If you’re feeling fancy, add mini marshmallows or whipped cream. I promise your kids will love you forever either way!

As an added activity, I give each student a colorful cup to personalize with permanent markers. The kids love this, and it also prevents them from mixing up their cups! I got the ones here for less than $1 in the party section of Walmart.

Cocoa Comparison Craft

Of all the place-value activities available to teachers, this Hot Cocoa Comparison Craftivity is my favorite! It has proven to be a hot hit with my students and fellow educators, too!

With this activity, students can practice building two-digit numbers with tens and ones. They can also compare numbers with greater than or less than symbols.

Kids can choose their own numbers and build them with paper tens and mini marshmallow ones. Once they’ve counted the numbers, they compare them and choose the correct symbol: greater than, less than, or equal to.

To finish, students decorate the mugs and glue them on construction paper. The completed projects make the perfect winter bulletin board or display. High fives and good vibes all around with this craftivity!

Place Value Matching Activity

At about this point in the day, your hot cocoa is simmering, and your students have eyed it up no less than ten times. (See what I did there! 🙃)

While the sweet smells start to set in, let’s keep working on some place-value puzzles! Each puzzle has two pieces that focus on tens and ones. You can match them in a pocket chart or on a flat surface at a math center.

I’m sharing these place value puzzles and the Hot Cocoa Day banner with you below! ⤵️

Get Moving for Place Value!

Time to get moving for place-value! I don’t know about your students, but mine are obsessed with Math & Move games!

Here’s how it works:

First, you project the slides on the board.  Next, kids answer the questions on a dry-erase board.  Third, they check their answers!  Finally, EVERYONE does the matching movement!

My favorite part is that there’s no prep required, so I am free to observe the kids to keep an eye on who’s getting it and who needs a little extra help! 

Place Value FREEZE

If your class is always on the move, they will really love Place Value FREEZE! Here’s how you play:

  • Give each student a game card with blocks or tens and ones.
  • Play some fun music! Kids can dance around and trade cards. 
  • Stop the music and FREEZE! Read a “Who has _?_” card.
  • Anyone holding that number wins!
  • Start the music and play again!


After the game, you can use the matching printables for independent practice or a quick assessment. These pages are also great for centers, morning work, or homework.

I promise that your students will never get tired of playing FREEZE! Add it to your plans for:

  • Math lessons
  • Morning meeting
  • Indoor recess
  • Transitions
  • Brain breaks
  • Class rewards
  • Substitute plans


It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving to both students AND teachers!

Hot Cocoa Dance

If you’re looking for a fun brain break, try the Hot Cocoa Bop! This dance isn’t choreographed, so kids can perform their own moves! Just press play and stir the hot cocoa as they wiggle and giggle.  Everyone loves the Hot Cocoa Bop, and it fits perfectly into Hot Cocoa Day!


FREE Hot Cocoa Math Puzzles & Banner!

Get the FREE Hot Cocoa Math Puzzles and Banner!  Leave your email below and we’ll send you this free resource right away!

I hope you love Hot Cocoa Day with Place Value Activities. Add some chocolate milk and paper cups to your cart, and get ready for lots of fun! This is a special day that your kids will never forget because you made learning FUN for them. If you’re looking for even more place-value lessons and centers, check out Place Value Palooza!


I can’t wait to hear which activities your students enjoyed the most. Leave a comment below or over on Instagram to share about your Hot Cocoa Day!

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Picture of Emily Yerty

Emily Yerty

I’m a teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

6 Responses

  1. I love your ideas! In South Africa where I live it will have to be ice cubes or ice cream as it is high summer and we are melting! The kids will love it!

    1. Hi Danél,
      Thanks so much for reading my post. To be honest, I would much rather have an ice cream party than a hot cocoa party. I am so tired of cold, snowy weather at this point in the year! I hope your students enjoy some of the place value activities!

      Happy Teaching!

  2. Hello! From Switzerland I really really would love to have the value maching game 😍 Your page is sooooo cool!
    Thank you,


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FREE Hot Cocoa Math Puzzles & Banner!

Get the FREE Hot Cocoa Math Puzzles and Banner! Leave your email below and we will send you this free resource right away!