Mental maths: Games for car trips and around the home!
AN exhibition of strong mental maths skills often indicates the child's understanding of the concept involved. Regular practice with mental maths has been shown to enhance any form of maths programmes, resulting in significant improvement for children in tests of computation and problem solving. The following games and activities can be played on the move, at home or online. Perhaps these may inspire you and your child to create your own original mental maths games.
1. At the beginning of a trip, have the adult (excluding the driver) or child guess how many green cars will be spotted before the trip ends.
2. All the green cars spotted make for a single total. Someone can act as the impartial recorder (an adult or the oldest child ticks on a notepad), while the rest become spotters.
3. At the end of the trip, the one who whose prediction was closest to the actual total wins.
Of course, the item to spot can be almost anything. Try to pick something that presents a challenge...thus exclude traffic lights or road signs.
License number maths
This is a game for two players. Get each child to guess if there are more license plates that end in an odd or even number. (plates that end in a letter do not count)
1. Give each child a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, or something to mark with.
2. Set a time limit, usually 10-15 minutes.
3. Have one child look for plates that end in an odd number, and the other look for an even number.
4. A tick mark or dash should be marked for each car they find.
5. At the end of the time limit, have the children add up their marks by the number of marks obtained.
License number maths extended
Follow steps 1 - 4 as above.
5. Group the marks in sets of the multiplication table you set, eg 2x, 3x, 4x, etc.
6. At the end of the time limit, have the children add up the number of groups obtained.
Get your children to spot licence plates of the vehicles passing by. This can be done while on a car trip, a family walk, or just looking out of his home. The challenge is to see who adds up the digits most quickly. This is also an opportunity for them to employ any short cuts in number bonds to get the addition done more quickly.
Road trip multiplication
Road trip multiplcation extended
Maths activities for around the home
Keeping a journal
No doubt you can also use the journal recording results to impress on them other relevant life issues.