How many times will your kids ask, “Are we there yet?” while traveling? Kids hate being cooped up in a vehicle for long. Rather than rely on those TVs in the backseat, parents can help entertain their kids while on the road and reinforce their math skills at the same time. With these sure-to-please 2nd grade math games, your child will have tons of fun on the road without even realizing that he or she is learning.
Guess the Number
This math game is similar to ‘I Spy,’ except numbers are used. Tell your child to think of a number between 1-100. You will try to guess your child’s number by asking questions such as, “Is it greater than 20?” “Is it an odd number?” Your child can only answer “yes” or “no.” After you guess your child’s number, you pick a number and let your child try to guess by asking similar questions.
Find the Numbers
On a piece of paper, have your child make a chart listing numbers 1-50. Like a Bingo game of sorts, whenever they spot a number on a road sign, license plate, billboard, etc., have your child make an X on that number. The first to find all 50 numbers is the winner!
License Plate Math
Before getting into the car, your child should write down your license plate number on a piece of paper. Tell them not to write the letters – just the numbers. Every time a car is in front of you, have your child write down its license plate number either under the heading “Less Than” or “Greater Than” depending on if the license plate number is less than or greater than yours. For really long road trips, have them write all of the license plate numbers in order from least to greatest. Your child can also record the names of the different states on the different license plates he or she sees. Your child can tally up which state’s license plate he or she saw the most and which state’s license plate he or she saw the least.
License Plate Add-Up
License Plate Add-Up is a game that will allow children to practice mental math skills. Each time a new car is in front of you, call out its license plate number. Have your child add the digits together to get a total. Encourage your child to explain what strategies he or she used used to add the numbers. Then, try different problems with the numbers from the license plate. For example, if the numbers on a license plate were 643, ask “Using the numbers from the license plate, can you use two numbers to make a problem with an answer of 2?” (Yes, 6-4=2) Ask, “Can you add two numbers and get an answer that is odd?” (Yes, 6+3=9)
There are many other games involving math that you can make up while you’re on the road. If you keep your kids busy doing math, you won’t hear “Are we there yet?” nearly as often.