How to Teach Math and Science With Matchbox Cars

Speeding towards learning!

Students explore magnetism, measurement and data collection with these hands-on collaboration activities!


1. Matchbox Magnetism

Integrate science and math with matchbox magnetism! Tape a magnet on a matchbox car and measure the distance you can get it to roll, while learning about magnetic poles! Afterwards have students compare their measurements by creating a graph. Once kids get the hang of it, have a magnetic matchbox drag racing competition! Kids create a racetrack and race each other, controlling their vehicles with a magnet!


2. Matchbox Road Construction

Street Construction

Grab a ruler, a bunch of matchbox vehicles, and some sidewalk chalk for a measuring project! Kids team up and are given specific measurements for a street. They work together to construct their street. Then, they work with their peers on designing a city. As a class, they decide the placement of each road. After they’ve completed their roadways, they can add cities, stores, and signage. They can even make a Fraction City on the pavement (click here for details)!

Distance with Lanes
Next, set up a mini Nascar stadium with your vehicles! Draw lines on the blacktop, creating lanes to separate the kids’ cars. Then, assign each student a numbered lane. Who’s car is the fastest? After you race your cars, measure the distance they rolled from the starting line. Compare the distances and the vehicles.

Note: You could do this activity indoors with masking tape to create roads.

3. Matchbox Town


Click here for an urban planning project that integrates art, engineering and math (fractions, multiplication arrays and measuring)!