When it comes to finding fun ways to use traveling to teach math, you don’t have to look far. In the beginning of our homeschooling journey, I really didn’t think outside the box. Like most, I naturally gravitated towards the textbooks and classroom-style learning methods. However, it didn’t take long to realize that any subject could be taught anywhere.
Psst… There’s a giveaway at the end of this post for over $200 in free printable homeschool resources!
Fun Ways to Use Traveling to Teach Math
From calculating the distance traveled between locations to counting the number of stoplights passed through on a long road, there are lots of creative ways to teach math while traveling. Here are a few to implement in your homeschool today, whether you’re traveling or not!
Play math-based travel games.
These are super easy to come up with and don’t take many resources at all.
I Spy Meets Scavenger Hunt
If you’ve read any of the previous posts in this series, then you know how much I love giving my kids journals for every subject. So, with having a math journal in mind, you can have your kids copy down a variety of “math problems” that they’ll have to answer while they’re out. It’s sort of like a mix between a scavenger hunt and I Spy.
A few ideas to start with are:
- Count the number of stop signs and pedestrian walking signs, then add them together.
- Find the sum of street signs between two locations.
- Calculate the distance between your home and the grocery store (or any other place you go).
As you and your family are out and about, have your children pay attention to the buildings around them. They’ll quickly notice that they comprise of lots of geometrical shapes. From triangles and squares to rectangles and circles, they will see things made with all shapes and sizes.
If they find buildings they like, have them take a picture or draw them in their journal.
License Plate Math
Your kids will have a blast writing down different license plate numbers and using them to add, subtract, multiply, or even divide. For license plates with letters, challenge them to come up with an alpha-numeric code for doing math problems.
Calculate a Trip
There are many mathematical aspects when planning for a trip or vacation. Turn your next trip’s plans into math-learning fun with your kids by doing the following.
Have your kids use a map and calculate the distance between your starting point and ending points. Kudos if they can do it without needing help from Google maps (or another app equivalent). They can also calculate distances between places you’ll be going once you get to your destination.
How much money will you need?
I personally like to budget for every aspect of our travels from gas and groceries to money needed for attractions and miscellaneous purchases. Give your kids a starting budget point and have them list out what expenses they think they’ll need throughout the duration of the trip. This will help them learn critical finance skills that will come in handy later in life.
Plan a schedule of events.
The idea behind this task is to teach your kids about time. Let them be part of planning the activities for the day down to the time. They’ll have to pay attention to the clock and know when to start getting ready, decide on a good time to leave to make sure you arrive on time, and how much time will be spent at each place. In addition to math, your kids will learn valuable time management skills.
Math Printables to Use While Traveling
I have a variety of math printable resources that you can use along your travels. Check them out below!
This counting money puzzle pack comes with 21 puzzles that will help your child practice adding money. Puzzles include bills and coins!
Easily introduce numbers 1-20 with this Numbers Write & Wipe Activity Book! Your kiddos will enjoy the activities on each page and you’ll enjoy the practice they are getting with learning numbers! Laminating the pages makes it a “write & wipe” activity book. Be sure to use a dry erase marker!
Your students will have fun reviewing fractions with this color-by-answer equivalent fractions worksheets pack. It also includes the answer key!
What are some fun ways you teach math (whether you travel or not)?
The ideas and suggestions mentioned above are just a few ways we try to make math fun as we travelschool. But, I’d love to hear from you! What are some fun ways you teach math in your homeschool? Let me know in the comments below!