Fun Math Activity: Parking Lot Addition

Finding fun math activities for my Kindergartener is high on my to do list these days and if I can find an indoor activity that combines math and toy cars, well then… score!  This parking lot addition game was the perfect entertainment on a recent weekend morning.

Math activity that uses toy cars and practices addition.

My youngest son is rapidly following in his mathematics-loving brother’s footsteps and, of course, they both love playing with their toy vehicles.  I came up with this math activity for my Kindergartener, and while he was working on it he got a little help from the peanut gallery — otherwise known as his 8 year old brother.

What you need:

  • Low tack tape, such as painter’s tape
  • A bucket full of toy transportation
  • Marker

Instructions:

First I used the tape to define a parking lot; you could do this however you want. Be creative! If you have a large piece of cardboard you could use that if your floors are carpeted. I’ve never had any problem removing the tape from the floor.
So fun for kids who love toy cars! Parking lot math.

Write simple math problems at the top of each parking space. My Kindergartener (just 2 weeks shy of 5 years old!) is working on counting and learning number combinations so easy addition is perfect for him at this stage.

When he woke up and found the parking lot he was intrigued! I showed him the math problems and instructed him to park the number of cars (or busses, or trains…) that corresponds to the correct answer.

Kids who love toy cars and math will love this parking lot game.

For the larger numbers we counted the number of cars aloud. If he was incorrect I showed him how to separate the two groups of cars to make sure he had the right amount. For example, when he parked 5 cars in the “4+2″ lot, we divided the cars so he could see he had only 4 cars plus 1 car and could correct the error.

His brother loved coaching him from the sidelines. I wrote 2+2 twice, thinking repetition would be good practice, but my two little nerds called me out! “Too easy!” they shouted! “We already did that one!” They made me put a piece of tape over it and write 7+8. It’s nice to know they don’t want to rest on their laurels.

If you have kids who love toy vehicle play, you need to follow my Toy Vehicle Play board on Pinterest! I’m busy collecting lots more ideas.

This game was inspired by a similar literacy game at I Can Teach My Child in which cars with lower case letters were parked in spots with upper case letters. In fact, if you look closely at the photos above you can see the tape with letters is still on some of the cars!

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Comments

  1. teachingyoungchildren says:

    Very cool idea to combine math with your son’s passions! Thanks for co-hosting Afterschool!

  2. I cannot tell you how FAB this idea is, just plain perfect for the boy here! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Erica, I am always so impressed by your innovative creativity. This is wonderful! When I have grandchildren, I’ll be here looking around for all kinds of stuff to do! :D

  4. That looks really fun! I love how the trucks and cars are different lengths so you really have to do the math!

  5. My one year old is all about cars… he comes into the kitchen when I’m working and tells me “Down. Cars!” so I can get down his parking garage. All your ideas for vehicle learning are going to come in handy in a year or two!!

  6. Great idea! I am featuring it this week on the AS Linky!!

  7. Sarah cooper says:

    It’s a very cold winter day here and found this idea, so quick to create with things we have, son helped assemble it and is now playing happily! We created it on cardboard for easy storage and reuse and added some easy words he could learn to recognize such as “enter here” and “exit” and “this way out”. Thanks for sharing your great ideas! Now following you on pinterest too!

    • Erica MomandKiddo says:

      Thanks for you comment, Sarah. I appreciate you taking the time to leave it. I love the idea of using cardboard. I have to admit, the tape is still on our floor! The boys like to use it in their pretend play now, too.

  8. great idea!! especially for boys :)

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