We’ve all been there. You are in the car for a trip around town or to another town and you need an activity to keep your kids quiet and engaged. Or maybe you are waiting in line at the grocery store or doctor’s appointment. Turn these times of waiting into learning opportunities with these fun math games to play in the car (or plane or train or line). They require no supplies and can be adapted for all ages.
Math Operations Games To Play In The Car
Count anything and everything. Count items as a team or play a game to see who can find the most of whatever item you are counting. Modify this game by counting forward, backward, or skip counting.
Similar to the Alphabet Game where you find each letter of the alphabet on road signs, license plates, and buildings, search for numbers in sequential order. Keep the numbers smaller for younger children (10 or 20) and gradually increase the numbers as your child gains proficiency (100 or 200).
Guess my number
This game can be adapted for any age. Think of a number and have your children guess it. You can give a range in which your number falls or make it more challenging by not giving a range. When your children guess a number, tell them if the number is higher or lower.
Don’t Say My Number
One player chooses a number that no one is allowed to say. Take turns counting by ones, but skip any number that contains the selected number. For example, if the number not to say is 4, players cannot say 4, 14, 24, 34, or any number in the 40s. It would sound like this: “1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, etc.” If anyone slips and says the selected number, start over. See how high you can count!
Guess My Secret Rule
This game is similar to Guess My Number, but instead of trying to guess the number you try to guess the rule. For example, if your rule is to multiply by 10 and a player says 37, you would answer 370.
Critical Thinking Games To Play In The Car
Opposites word game
Give your child a word and have him tell you the opposite. Some examples include: hot/cold, up/down, angry/happy, and considerate/rude.
Things that ___.
Choose (or have your child choose) a descriptive quality such as green, fits in a shoebox, rolls, has wheels, or is a mammal. Then work together to identify items that have that quality. For example, if your descriptive quality is “has wheels” answers might be a car, wagon, bike, roller skates, scooter, or train.
Choose a person, place, or thing and tell your child the category. Have him ask questions about your item that can be answered with a yes or a no. Continue until he guesses your item correctly.
Things that don’t belong
Choose three items, two that share similar qualities and one that doesn’t. Tell your child the three items. Have him guess which one doesn’t belong and tell why it doesn’t belong. You make this more challenging by trying to figure out how every item does not belong.
Find more math manipulative and game suggestions in the math manipulative post series.
This post has been linked to the Massive Guide to Homeschooling Math.