Take math practice on the road this summer! Chances are you and your family have a busy, fun-filled summer ahead. Whether you're planning a summer road trip, shuffling little ones off to summer camp, or running a family taxi service to your kids' summer activities, you can take advantage of "on the go" moments to help kids practice math skills. In this article, we offer several ideas for practicing math skills on the road, wherever your summer plans lead you. Read on to find out more!
Before you grab the iPads and press "Play" on your kids' favorite movie when you're ready to hit the road, why not have your kids try out a few math activities first? The following ideas are perfect for a car ride, no matter whether you're heading to your neighborhood soccer field or setting off on your next family road trip. Remember to tag @iknowitcom on social media if you try any of these activities when your family is out and about this summer. We love keeping up with your summer math adventures!
You can't go wrong with a game of "I Spy" on a road trip! Kids will love tracking down the numbers on their math scavenger hunt list, and the small amount of prep work needed to put together the scavenger hunt clues ahead of time will be well worth it. You can play "I Spy" with a variety of math facts and figures. Here are some examples:
Little ones can look for route numbers, speed limit numbers, gas station prices, mile markers, and everything in between.
You can tailor this activity to the age and grade-level of your students, providing an individual "I Spy" list for each child, if desired.
Offer your children a prize, like a treat at the next rest stop, for completing their math scavenger hunt.
Why not try a game of math bingo on the road? You can use this handy bingo game generator to make your own bingo game boards using the math facts you want your kids to practice. We recommend putting together a "Bingo bag" to keep in the car. Make the bingo boards, cut out the calling cards ahead of time, and stick everything in a zip-top bag along with some fun stickers your kids can use for bingo markers.
When it's time to play bingo on the road, family members can take turns calling out the bingo numbers as the other players work to fill up their bingo boards before anyone else.
If you want to, you can keep small prizes on hand for the winners.
Here's a fun activity that can help little ones mark the milestones on a long family road trip. Each time you cover a specific distance, enter a new city or state, pass by a state or national park, or hit any notable milestone, recite a set of math facts together as a family.
For example, each time you see the welcome sign marking your entry into a new state, recite out loud a multiplication table, like the five times table or the eight times table.
See how many math facts you can get through from the beginning of the trip to your final destination. You can do this activity on short car rides too. You can look for mini milestones, like traffic lights or stop signs, to give your kids lots of opportunities to practice their math facts.
Long road trips can mean lots of rest stops along the way. Add a little math practice into the rest stop routine! Give your kids notebooks or journals and assign them the roll of "Rest Stop Number Cruncher." Each time you make a pit stop to fill up on gas, ask your kids to write down the gas price per gallon, as well as the total amount of money you spent filling the tank at each station. After the last fill-up before the end of the trip, kids can look back and see which gas station had the lowest gas prices and add up how much money was spent on gas total.
You can also do this activity with other rest stop facts and figures, such as meals, snacks, and drinks, and other miscellaneous purchases.
What's the probability of hearing repeated choruses of "Are we there yet?" on your next summer road trip? We might not have an exact number for you, but the odds are pretty high. 😉 Why not turn the inevitable question around into a math challenge? When kiddos ask for regular updates on the progress of the road trip, you can give them a few numbers that will help them figure out how much time or distance remains. Here are a few examples:
You can ask any number of route-related questions to your little ones. Encourage them to process the question out loud and help each other figure out the answer. Before you know it, you'll be asking them "Are we there yet?"
These activities are just a few of the many math games you can play with kids in the car when you're on the go this summer. And when you're ready to get out those iPads, don't forget to add a little interactive math practice from iKnowIt.com into the mix. No matter where your family adventures take you this summer, you can take our interactive math activities along for the ride!
What are your favorite ways to practice math skills on the go during summer break? We would love to hear from you! Share your ideas with our community in the comment section below.