Soccer for Your Car

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Soccer for Your Car

August 11, 2018

It’s easy to kick a soccer ball, since it’s so much smaller than you. But try kicking one that’s as tall as your bedroom ceiling! Our fan and friend Tyler M. sent us a great video of Trackhoe Soccer, where cars and trucks play big soccer with an 8-foot-high ball. In regular “people” soccer, each team tries to kick the ball into the goal at the end of the field, while the other team tries to stop them. Here, cars are the players, and 2 big yellow diggers (“excavators”) are the goalies. Cars and trucks can’t kick, of course, so they drive, skid and turn to push the ball. We just hope they don’t crash into each other.

Wee ones: How many cars, trucks and diggers can you count on the soccer field?

Little kids: What do you call the 5-sided black shapes on the soccer ball?  Bonus: If the car team scores 1 goal, then the truck team scores 2 goals, then cars score 1, then trucks score 2…which team scores the 10th goal to keep the pattern?

Big kids: Trackhoe soccer is played once a year, and this 2018 game is the 5th one! In what year was the 1st game?  Bonus: If there are 18 players out there, and there are twice as many white vehicles as colored ones, how many white vehicles are there?

The sky’s the limit: If there are equal numbers of cars and trucks, and 1/2 the cars and 2/3 the trucks are red, and there are 2 more red trucks than red cars…how many trucks are there?










Wee ones: 9 vehicles: 8 “players” and 1 digger.

Little kids: Pentagons.  Bonus: The car team, since trucks will score goals 8 and 9.

Big kids: In 2014. Remember, you can’t just subtract 3, since that would bring you to year “zero” when there was no game.  Bonus: 12 white and 6 colored. If there are twice as many whites, it’s like a set of colored cars and 2 more sets the same size, making 3 “sets” total.

The sky’s the limit: 2/3 of the number is 2 more than 1/2 of the same number. And the difference between 2/3 and 1/2 is 1/6. So 2 is 1/6 of the total, and there are 12 trucks.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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