Summer Math Fun: Car Games

Jul 1, 2015 | Westwood


We believe math practice can and should be fun, and we're sharing some fun tips for ensuring your child's math skills stay strong over the summer break with our Summer Math Fun series!

Whether you're planning an epic car trip across the country, or heading to Grandma's for the weekend, backseat car time is the perfect opportunity for math practice! Here are a few games your child can play in the car to pass the travel time and keep math fresh in their brains.


Counting Game

Ask your child to keep a running count of different objects (blue cars, cows, telephone poles, etc.). 

License Plate Math

Have your child practice adding, subtracting, and/or multiplying numbers on license plates you can spot from the car. You can also find number patterns in license plates (Ex: in the license plate 1LET248, the numbers are powers of 2).

Gas Mileage

The next time you fill up, ask your child to help calculate gas mileage, and how long you can drive until you'll need to fill up at the next gas station.

Trip Budgeting

Ask your child to help plan the day's budget and figure out how much of it you are using as you stop for food, gas, snacks, etc.


Pattern Completion

Complete a rainbow: give your child a chart with various colors (like a Candyland trail) and when they see the next color in the trail on the road, have them write down what the object was and look for the next color in the trail.


Guess Who?

Play a game of “Guess Who?” with numbers instead of faces. “Are you a prime number? Are you an even number? Are you greater than 40?”

Give your kids a list of clues to a 3 or 4 digit number and have them try to figure out what they number is.

Music Time

Given a list of songs and a time frame, have your child make a playlist of songs so that it lasts the approximate length of your trip (give a few minutes for red lights).

Have your child learn the 8-counts to one of their favorite songs and calculate how many total 8-counts there are in the song.

Creative Skits

Have the kids put together a quick 1-2 minute skit with criteria such as: has lyrics to a favorite song, must involve a math equation, has a historical fact. Have them perform it at night when you arrive at your destination.


Avoid repeated cries of "Are we there yet?!" by giving your child the task of keeping track of the route and the time elapsed.

Card Games

Use cards to play a game of heads up or practice multiplication facts.


We hope your next car trip is full of practical math fun! Are there any fun math-related games your family plays in the car? Share them with us in the comments!