Math Race Activity

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Updated on Sep 18, 2013

Looking for ways to make math more than just a bore?  Make math fun and exciting for your child by turning it into a game—a math race!. The basic math skills we learn as children are the building blocks of all mathematical thinking in the years following. That’s why fundamental skills like addition are so important. By turning basic math problems into a game that is fun and challenging, your child will not only learn to enjoy math, but he’ll also begin to solidify a foundation of key skills to use in years to come. And who knows – if you play along with him, you might even be able to brush up on those basics that may make the next time you balance your checkbook a little bit easier!

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Calculator
  • 15-20 Index Cards

What You Do:

To prepare for this activity, use the index cards to create 15-20 game cards. Write one addition problem with 5-10 addends (numbers to add) on each card. Place the answer to the problem on the back of the card.

Note: At a second grade level these numbers should be single digits to begin. (For example, 5+9+8+7+5=) If you would like to adapt this game for older children, simply change the problems to include 2 digit numbers.


  1. To play the game, you will need a partner, but you can play this game with as many players as you like. One player will be using the calculator to try to solve the addition problem. The other player will use pencil and paper.
  2. The goal of the player using pencil and paper would be to practice strategies that will enable him to add the string of numbers in the quickest way possible. For example, the player would want to look for numbers that add to 10, or doubles. (4+6, 7+3, 8+2 all equal ten) (Doubles would be 4+4, 2+2, etc.)
  3. The first person to get the answer will get a point. The player with the most points at the end of the game would be the winner.

Remember, practice makes perfect! The more you practice your adding skills the quicker you will become and the higher your chances of beating the calculator!

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