Skip to main content

How far will it go?

What you need

  • Toy cars (If you don’t have any cars, small balls could also work well), cardboard to create a ramp.
  • Optional extras – paper, tape and markers or chalk if enjoying on the ground outdoors.


A fun, physically engaging maths experience – this will develop mathematical vocabulary around distance and speed.

The experience

Set up an area to play in. This could be outdoors on a patio surface, or indoors in a space – a hallway is an ideal place. You will need toy cars and to build a ramp for them to roll down. Get your child involved in creating the ramp with you, explaining that a ramp will allow the cars to roll down it. A piece of cardboard propped against a stair works well, or perhaps you could lean your ramp against a pile of books or any other objects you have to hand. 

Enjoy rolling the cars down the ramp with your child, observing how fast and how far the cars travel. Use mathematical vocabulary when talking with your child, using words such as ‘far’, ‘further/furthest’, ‘near’, ‘quick’, ‘speed’, ‘fast/fastest’. 

You can set up a challenge to see which car will be the fastest, and experiment with ways to enable the car to travel faster. Alternatively, tape some paper to the floor and mark where each car rolls to, exploring the concept of distance. You could write a number line down along one side of the paper to add numbers to the experience e.g. ‘Wow, your car got all the way to number 7, shall we see if you can get it to go even further?’