Math Activities for Kids | Early Math Skills - FamilyEducation

Travel Activities: Road Trip Math

Keep kids occupied during a long road trip with these early math activities using percentages, operational math, and other essential math skills.

In This Article:

Smiling Happy Family in Car

Math Travel Activities

Road trip math not only keeps your child occupied during a long trip, but itcan also practice some of his real-life math skills. From license plates to maps and meals, there are many ways to make your trip a little more "edutaining." Edutainment is a portmanteau word combining the words "education" and "entertainment." It refers to activities that are designed to be entertaining as well as educational.

Skills Being Practiced

  • Operational math
  • Ciphers
  • Percentages
  • Money skills

What You Need

  • Paper and pencil, or whiteboard and dry-erase markers
  • Calculator

How to Play: License Plate Math

1. Your child may be looking at license plates to find different states, but you can also play a few license plate math games along the way, too.
2. Have each passenger find a license plate and write down the number, taking out any letters. Ask your child to read each number to you (if she can), and compare them and see whose number is the largest. Ask: Can you identify the number in the tens place in each license plate? What about the hundreds place? Does anyone's plate have a larger place value than hundreds? What is it? Whose license plate number is larger if you add the numbers on each plate together?
3. Keep track of any vanity plates you see. Use a basic alphanumeric cipher to substitute the letter on plates for numbers. (The easiest code is just giving each letter of the alphabet the number of its position in the alphabet, in which A = 1 and Z = 26.) Calculate to see which vanity plate has the highest numerical value.