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!

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.