Category: Transportation

{Little Mathematicians} Trains Roll and Graph

Thing 1 is obsessed with trains.  Part of the Saxon 1 math curriculum we are loosely following called for graphing one day this week.  One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling is being able to adapt the material to my sons’ interests.  So instead of graphing the hair color in our household, which wouldn’t be a very fun graph, I created a roll and graph activity for Thing 1.  He LOVED it.  He actually asked me if I could print him off another one so that he could have the different colored trains “race” again.

This activity let’s him practice his graphing and counting.  It also allowed us to talk about ordinal numbers as well as what a “tie” is when it comes to competition.

HERE is a copy of the printables I made.  It includes the graph, a paper die to put together or pictures that can be used in a photo cube.

Here are a few other math ideas that go with a train theme.

Train Math Activities

Now it is your turn to share your fun math activities.

1. Please link directly to your specific blog posts. That way we can easily find your idea.
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    Train Math Activities

    Thing 1 is obsessed with trains.  On a daily basis you can find him playing trains, begging you to play trains, drawing trains, begging you to draw trains or reading about trains.  With this weeks theme being transportation, I knew we would  have a day with trains.  Since we are doing kind of an off week as I restructure our home school, I am focusing more on the fun activities as opposed to some of the other things that are not as much fun (like handwriting). 

    Today we did two math train activities.  We did both of these activities using our wooden Thomas the Tank Engine trains, but you could use paper trains or even cars.

    Engine Shed Game


    numbered parking spaces {HERE}
    I die {6 sided or 12 sided}

    To Play:

    We used the 12 sided die, so I would roll the die and call out the number.  He would drive his car to the appropriate numbered engine shed.

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    If you are using a 6 sided die that only has dots (not numerals) then you can let your kiddo roll the die, count the dots, then park his train.  {This was going to be my plan with Thing 2, but he took a much needed nap today.}

    You could also turn this into an addition activity by using multiple dice and changing the numbers on the board accordingly.

    Making Trains


    at least one 6 sided die
    trains (or cars)

    To Play:

    Take turns rolling the die.  The number that you roll corresponds to the number of “coaches” (trains) that you get to add to your train.  At the end of 6 rounds.  You add up the total number of trains to see who has the longest train.

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    This game was a big hit.  What made it even better is that it introduced several math concepts.  The first was one to one correspondence, in counting the dots on the die as well as at the end when we counted all the trains.  Secondly, it introduced the idea of addition.  Lastly, we talked about measurement, because some trains are longer than other trains, so you couldn’t just look at the trains to see who won, you had to count. 

    We played this game several times and we probably would have played a little more, but after I beat Thing 1 for the third time, he was done and just wanted to play. 

    Can you think of any other variations to these games?

    I linked up at:

    Update and Transportation Theme

    Since Mommy Thoughts last Thursday, I have been doing a lot of research, reworking, redefining and praying about our home school.  The bulk of my time has been spent trying to figure out what to do with Thing 1.  He has a great base and wants to learn, and just about everything I had “planned” out for him this year is way too easy.  So after much research and prayer, I have decided that I am going to push him a little more, which I think he is going to enjoy. 

    However, what this means for me that a lot of the planning I have already done is not going to work.  But, instead of stressing about it and trying to get new plans and activities created and together tonight, we are going to kind of follow the second lesson plan I had made for this week.  Honestly, we will probably spend most of our time doing the activities and little to no time on handwriting and math.  I will still work with Thing 1 on his reading, but I am even revamping some of that.  So we will see how it goes.  I see this as more of an “off” week, while I work on a whole new plan that better suits both boys, which is what homeschooling is all about.  Also, I am glad that in some ways, we have this year as a “test” year, before we have to start making any serious decisions. 

    Our theme for this week is T is for transportation, a topic I know the boys will get into.  I am so glad that I reworked my first lesson plan to this second lesson plan, which has more hands on learning activities in it.  Even though we will be having an “off” week, the boys should have a lot of fun and learn a little bit too.

    Tt is for Transportation Lesson Plan 2