Playtime Learning Activity
Race your cars against each other by taking turns to roll 2 dice. Add up the total shown on each dice and move your car along the track. Take turns to see who will win!
We’ve provided free printable downloads for the race track, the sums worksheet and the numbers themselves. All you have to do is find 2 toy cars, print and play.
And most of all have fun with maths.
Time: 5 minutes
Ages: Little kids to Big kids
Difficulty to make: Easy peasy
Skills: Number bonds to 12
Step 1: Print out your race track
Print out your free printable race track here:
If you like you can laminate it so it lasts longer. Otherwise you can just save and print out new copies whenever you need them.
Your child can either write the sums down onto a sheet of paper for this game. Or you can print out these number cards and blank sums worksheet for them to use:
Cut out each number square so that you have a set of number cards that you can place on your worksheet.
Step 2: Start racing your cars
Set up the game
Gather two dice and two toy cars. Place one car at the start of each race track, all ready to go.
Roll the dice
Ask your child to roll the two dice onto the board.
Count out the numbers
Count out the dots shown on each dice. Either write down the numbers on a sheet of paper or select the right number card and place them on the sums worksheet.
Race your car along the track
Now help your child move their race car along the track to the first number on the dice.
Then ask them to move their car along further steps along the track, to match the number on the second dice.
You can help them by counting the steps out loud as they move along the race track. The number they get to is the total of the 2 numbers on the dice.
Here the dice show 3 and 4.
So your child should move their car (here this is the yellow car) along to number 3. Then they should count out another 4 spaces, moving it along until they reach number 7.
Reinforce the addition sum they have just done by saying ‘you see, 3 and 4 makes 7’.
Step 3: Write out your number sums
You can ask your child to write out their number sums on a sheet of paper to reinforce the number bonds they are learning.
Or ask them to select a number card for each number shown on the dice and place it in the blank boxes on our sums worksheet.
Let them work out the sum of the two numbers on their dice, by moving their car along the track. When they find the total, ask them to find the matching number card and put it at the end of the sum on the worksheet.
Say the sum aloud. Here it’s ‘1 plus 5 equals 6’.
You can also switch the first two numbers around to show your child that also: ‘5 plus 1 equals 6’. They can count it out on the race track again if they would like to check that it’s true.
Step 4: Race each other’s cars
Now it’s your turn to roll the dice. Work out your own sum with your child. Write it down and move your car along by that many spaces.
Take turns to play the game until someone passes the finish line.
Whose car will win the race?
You can race your cars as many times as you like to see which one wins the race.
Keep helping your child to move their cars along the number track. Count out the spaces to add up the numbers on the dice.
By playing the game over and over again, your child will encounter some of the same sums. Some will start to be familiar and the sums will slowly become second nature.
Learning these first number bonds will help them be able to move onto larger number bonds in the future.
Extending the game
Once your child has played a few times, you can extend the game by asking them to write down all the number bonds of the sum they have made.
For example if they have rolled 1 and 5 they could write down:
1 + 5 = 6
What other numbers make up 6? Can you work it out together? Count them out on the race track to double check. Here these sums could be:
2 + 4 = 6
3 + 3 = 6
4 + 2 = 6
5 + 1 = 6
All these combinations make 6.
Benefits of this race car addition game
This race track activity is introducing your child to the idea of a number line. This is a common way of teaching numeracy at school. Children are shown a number line as a way to do first additions. They hop along the line to reach the total number.
It’s great because it’s a very clear way of visualising an addition sum. Your child can break the sum down into steps in order to reach the right answer.
It helps reinforce what a sum actually means. And of course it’s all much more fun when it’s a car race!