Math in a Box Travel Game

If you live in the top half of the world, chances are that you are taking some vacation time this month, and we all know how challenging long trips with children can be if they get bored and restless.

My 5-year-old is too young to read much yet and he rarely naps, even on the 12-hour drive to the cottage. In the hopes of entertaining him for longer, I whipped up this game. It was such a hit with both him and my 12-year-old that I’m sharing it with you here.

pinterest image for math travel game

What you’ll need:

-Get a box. Shoebox is the very biggest size you want to go for this; I bought one at the dollar store that’s about half that size and it fit everything with room to spare.

-Velcro, the strip kind. It took me two packages from the dollar store for all the math facts pieces.

-This printable math facts page I made, cut up and either laminated or on sturdy cardstock.

How to make it:

It’s pretty straightforward to make. Take a strip of the Velcro and glue it into the lid of the box. You might want to add a second line; it’s your call.

math travel game lid

Cut the other side of the strip into squares and stick the pieces to the backs of the math printables.math travel game individual piece

Dump all the numbers and symbols into the box once you’re done, close the lid, and put it into the car for your trip.

math travel game outside of box

How to play with it: A few options

1. You stick a math problem to the lid. Your child answers it and hands it back.

math travel game addition problem

2. You put a skip counting pattern on the lid and leave gaps. Your child finds the missing numbers.

math travel game with pieces in box

3. For an older child, prime number patterns might be a fun challenge.

math travel game prime numbers

4. You put an answer on the lid on row one. Your child finds two math facts that fit for row two.

5. With a preschool child, you could call out a number and have them stick the right number to the lid.

It goes without saying that you praise lavishly and tread lightly when pointing out errors if you want this game to go on for very long. When they start getting silly or complaining, the game goes away.