Using Toys to Teach Math: Hot Wheels


November 22, 2023

When the students in my small group saw that I had brought a double loop Hot Wheels race track, they were very excited! What child does not want to play with toy cars? Little did they know just how much math they would be learning as they played. Depending on the age level here are just a few concepts you can teach with cars and a track.

  • Making predictions and using comparison words.  Which car would travel fastest? Which would travel farthest?
  • Directionality words (the car landed in front of the track, to the left/right of the track, the car stayed on the track etc.)
  • Measure how far the cars traveled.
  • Use a stopwatch to time the cars.
  • Colors/ordinal numbers – Line up colored bowls for the cars to land in. “The green car landed in the blue bowl, which is the first one.”
  • Addition- Give each colored bowl a point value and add the points to determine your score.
  • Currency- Give each colored bowl a monetary value and count out the coins to pay the amount “won” when the cars land.
  • Data Collection- Make a tally chart for where the cars landed. Make a picture graph, bar graph, circle graph, or line plot.
  • STEM- build your own track or even your own cars
  • Word problems- have your students write their own word problems or a math story about the cars and their race.

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