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5 Quick Math Games to Play on Car Trips

June 18, 2018

If you’ve never thought of taking advantage of the hours spent in the car during your vacation, start by exploring quick and easy games that don’t require you to pack anything for the game itself. Before you hit the road this summer, check out the following list of 5 simple and engaging math car games for kids:

Guess My Number 

Time to play: 5-10 minutes 

Objective: Younger children practice problem solving skills while older children utilize math knowledge and facts to guess the correct number. 

Another road trip classic, guess my number games are great because they can be easily adapted for kids of all ages. Simply think of a number and ask your child to guess what number you’re thinking of. For younger children, give them a range of numbers to pick from, like from 0-50. For older children, don’t offer a range, and mix up the game by adding hints. For example, reveal if the number is even or odd, a prime number, or is divisible by another number. 

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How Many Trucks? 

Time to play: 10-15 minutes- you decide based upon the age and attention span of your children! 

Objective: Young children will be busy looking for colors as they hone important counting skills while playing this fun-filled game. 

Counting car games for kids is a classic way to pass the time on a summer road trip. This spin on an old classic game requires you watch the time and watch the trucks to see who can count the most trucks in 15 minutes or less. Set the rules before you play, depending on what you and your child would like to count. For example, assign each passenger a color, look at the clock, and start counting! The player who counts the most cars within the time allotted wins! 

Fuel Fill-Up Math

Time to play: 5 minutes or less

Objective: Players practice important estimation skills and review capacity as they estimate how many gallons of gas the car will need, and how much it will all cost! 

Perfect for elementary kids already familiar with the basics of capacity and counting money, this game will challenge players to estimate how much fuel the car will need on your next fill-up. Before leaving on your trip, be sure to check how many gallons your car’s gas tank holds. This information is easily found in your car’s manual, or simply by checking to see how many gallons an entire tank takes.

After you hit the road, before stopping for your first pit stop, ask your children to estimate how many gallons they think it will take to fill up the gas tank. The player closest to the actual answer wins! For older children, add the tough task of calculating how much the fill-up will cost after they know the capacity of the gas tank. Likewise, the player with the closest answer wins! 

Road Sign Math

Time to play: 10-15 minutes

Objective: Kids practice addition skills by finding and counting numbers on signs! 

This game is best for passing through small towns, but can be played on the highway by looking out for mile markers! Set a timer or look at the clock and challenge your child to find road signs and add up any numbers they see. Road signs that include numbers could include mile markers, toll road signs, and signs that display route or interstate numbers, and signs that name cities and their location.

For younger children, only require them to count whole numbers, and for older kids, include the addition of fractions. During the time allotted, kids add up all the numbers they see on signs to find a sum. If you have more than one child, each can face off against the other, with another family member checking for accuracy. 

License Plate Math

Time to play: 5-10 minutes

Objective: Counting license plate numbers on passing cars will challenge kids to add quickly to hone addition skills in this fast-paced game!

Similar to the road sign math game, license plate math works your child’s addition skills. Since numbers are included on most license plate numbers, challenge your child to count the numbers on each license plate they see. This will add a challenge, since cars pass by quickly, forcing kids to add as fast as possible to find the answer for each license plate they see.

The player who counts and adds numbers on the most plates within 10 minutes wins! As an alternative, set rules to create variations of this game. For example, tell your kids they may count only numbers on license plates that match the state you’re currently driving through. 

As you can see, it’s easy to play fun math games in the car that will keep your children occupied while reinforcing vital math skills this summer! So before heading out on your next road trip, plan which games will work for your family, and get ready to have a memorable and meaningful family vacation! 

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