What you'll need:
License plates, paper, pencil, and calculator
What to do:
- As you are traveling in your car, or on a bus, each person takes turns calling out a license plate number.
- All players try to add the numbers in their heads. Talk about what strategies were used in the mental math addition. Were the numbers added by 10's like 2+8? Were doubles like 6+6 added?
- Try different problems using the numbers in a license plate. For example, if you use the plate number 663M218, ask "Using the numbers on the plate, can you make 5?"
- 5 using two numbers? "Yes, 3+2=5"
- 5 using three numbers? "Yes, (3+2)x1=5"
- 5 using four numbers? "Yes, (6+3+1)÷2=5"
- 5 using five numbers? "Yes, (6+6+3)-(8+2)=5"
- 5 using six numbers? "Yes, (6+6)+(3x1)-(8+2)=5"
Try using a calculator to play these games. See if you can solve these problems faster using the calculator.
The problem-solving and computational skills your child uses in this activity are very important to mental math skills, and they also help your child to be creative with numbers.