Road Trips & Math: A Surprisingly Great Combination

Jun 20, 2023 | Wurzbach

As the summer begins, families will start embarking on trips, small and large, near and far. Whether you and your family are traveling together in a car, train, or airplane, we’ve got some math learning games that are fun for the whole family and will help your students get ready for the new school year without even knowing it.

These two games presented by MathnasiumⓇ, will help your kids think mathematically and work together as a team. No tutor or special equipment is required, but a pencil and some paper may come in handy for some of the activities.

Guess my Number

This game is like the classic 20 Questions game with a math twist. One person thinks of a number but doesn’t tell anyone else which number. Other people try to figure out the number by asking questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no.” The aim is to guess the number in as few questions as possible.

Ages 3-5: The chosen number should be a whole number between one and 10 (or 30, if your child understands numbers that high). Questions might include, “Is the number greater than two?” “Does the number start with the letter F?” Ages 6-8: The chosen number should be a whole number between one and 100(or 1,000, if your child understands numbers that high). Questions might include, “Is the number greater than 50?” “Does the number have a zero in it?” Ages 9 and up: The chosen number should be a whole number or a decimal between one and 1,000. Questions might include, “Is the number divisible by two?” “Is it a whole number?”

Math skills developed: Logic, Number Sense, Mathematical Reasoning

Bing

Ages 3-5: Take turns counting by ones. Your child says, “one,” then you say “two,” then your child says “three,” and so on. See how high you can go. Ages 6-8: Take turns counting by twos, but any number that has a 0 in it, like 10, 20, or 30, say “Bing!” instead of the number. Anyone who says the number instead of “Bing!” gets a point. See how high the family can count before anyone gets five points. Then change the number the “Bing” represents or try counting by a different number. Ages 9-12: This is the same game as ages 6-8 but a bit more challenging! Take turns counting by threes, but replace any number that is a multiple of two with “Bing!” When someone gets five points, change the multiple that gets the “Bing” or count by a different number. Ages 12+: This is the next step up in the game. Start with 400, and take turns counting backwards by threes. Replace any number that is a multiple of nine with “Bing!” (Helpful hint: If a number is a multiple of nine, the digits will add up to nine. 3 + 3 + 3 = 9, so 333 is a multiple of nine.) Anyone who says the number instead of “Bing!” gets a point. See how long the family can go before anyone gets five points. When someone gets five points, change the multiple that gets the “Bing” or count by a different number. For an extra challenge, replace all prime numbers with “Bing.”

Math skills developed: Number Sense, Counting

Mathnasium always tries to find fun and unique ways to engage kids in math on a daily basis. So, it’s our pleasure to help parents keep their kids from asking, “Are we there yet?”

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