Taking Math Outside: Number Line Race

Number Line Race To finish up our week of “Taking Math Outside,” I wanted to review adding and subtracting using a number line! A number line is an important tool for solving problems and increasing number sense, and even though my daughter doesn’t have much trouble adding and subtracting, I want her to understand how numbers relate to each other on a number line.

It was also a good opportunity to discuss the arrows on a number line and the fact that the numbers keep going (in both directions). For our number line game, we went from 0-20, but we talked about how numbers go beyond 20, and how we can also go the other way, into negative numbers.

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To Play Number line Race:

Object of the Game: Be the first player to reach 20!

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To Play: Each player starts at 0. Take turns drawing a card and add or subtract depending on what it says. (i.e. If you draw “Add 6,” you would move from 0 to 6.) If a subtraction card is drawn that cannot be done (i.e. you are on 0 and draw “Subtract 5”) simply draw again (or just don’t move and try again on your next turn).

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To Win: Be the first player to land on 20 exactly (meaning the sum must equal exactly 20. If you’re on 18 and you draw “Add 3” you can’t move).

This game is highly adaptable and could be used with younger kids to work on simple addition by rolling a die.

Older kids could use some sort of marker to move along the number line, and could record each number sentence until they reach 20 (i.e. If they’re on 5 and draw “Add 7,” they would write 5+7 = 12, then their next sentence would start with 12, etc.).

My kids had fun counting and jumping along the number line, making this a great way to be outside, get active and practice math all at the same time!

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If you would like to use the cards that we used, you can go to my shop and download the set of addition and subtraction game cards HERE, which could be used with a variety of games or game boards. These include adding and subtracting up to 15 and I printed 2 pages to have plenty of choices.

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I hope you and your kids have fun getting outside, playing with chalk and learning important math skills! What are your favorite ways to “play math?”

~Math Geek Mama

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