Gas prices are high. So, my family and others have opted to take shorter road trips. Actually this summer, my family flew within in two hours of our destination and reached our final destination via a rental car. This trip and our four hour trip to Dallas for family graduations made me think of possible travel math games and activities. In particular, I thought of the following variations of license plate games and other math travel games.
Largest Sum or Product
Non competitive: Collect licenses from as many states as possible. Sounds familiar? Here’s the twist. Add the numbers to determine which state has the largest sum. Of course, you can do the same as above to determine which state has the largest product by multiplying the numbers.
Competitive version: Two or more players:
If there are two players, each player takes turns writing down a car’s license plate.
Round one:
Player one writes down the first passing car.
Player two writes the license of the second passing car.
Each player should add or multiply the numbers depending on the skill of the players.
The sum or product is the score of each player for round one.
Decide how many rounds you want to play before the game is started. (Undecided? Try 5 rounds) The person with the largest score at the end of the rounds wins the game.
Variation to the above game for a bigger challenge: assign numbers to alphabet and use those numbers to add. Here’s what I mean.
A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4, E=5, F=6, G=7, H=8, I=9, J=10, K=11, L=12, M=13, N= 14, O=15, P=16, Q=17, R=18, S=19, T=20, U=21, V=22, W=23, X=24, Y=25, Z=26
For example, license plate, 507DGB
Based on the above key, D=4, G=7, and B=2
Thus, the points earned would be written 5 + 0 + 7 + 4+ 7 + 2 = 25
What are Road Signs Worth?
Add or multiply.
Use the above alphabet key to find the value of road signs or words from billboards. For example, BUMP = 2 + 21 + 13 + 16 = 52
Math and Model of Cars?
Is your child into naming the model of any car that passes by? Then, have him or her write down several models of cars that pass by. Use the key above to determine the value of its spelling. For example: Fusion = 6 + 21 + 9 + 15 + 14 = 84. I scored 84 points with Fusion.
Add fun to these games by using a dry erase board instead of pencil and paper.
Finally, any type of card game, checkers, chess, dominoes are excellent for strengthening logic and critical thinking. How would you play these in the car?
Magnetic game pieces, of course!
Magnetic Playing Cards Comes complete with 54 magnetic playing cards, a sturdy 11" square folding magnetic playboard, and a vinyl storage bag. Great for playing cards outdoors in the wind, while traveling in the car or plane, at the beach, at home in bed, or anywhere. All ages. 
License Plate Games License Plate Games is an exciting competition on the states from coast to coast, including Mexico and Canada, that is fun for the whole family. Contains:
