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House of Maths School Workshops Primary & Secondary in Dorset & South - THE CAR WHEEL GAMES (RECEPTION TO YEAR 6)


THE “WHAT” GAMES?? the strips of metal joining the hub (centre) of a wheel to its rim (edge) are called the spokes. Have you tried to count the number of spokes on a car wheel?  How good is your counting? What other patterns can you find in the wheels?


  • Do not attempt to count the spokes on a moving car. Only count the spokes if it is parked.
  • Small children should hold an adult’s hands.
  • Ask permission if there is someone sat inside the car you want to count. Explain that you are playing a maths game and that their car has really cool wheels!

GAME 1- COUNT THE SPOKES:  Some car wheels have 5 spokes, some have 7, some have more. Find some cars and count the number of spokes.

GAME 2– COLLECT THE SET: how many different numbers can you find? Here are wheels with every number of spokes from 4 up to 16. I can’t find 17!! – can you?

Car Wheels from 4 to 18

GAME 3– ROTATIONAL SYMMETRY: Most wheels look the same when they are flipped (line symmetry) or turned (rotational symmetry). Some wheels only have rotational symmetry: they look back-to-front when they are flipped. Here are some of my favourites; how many can you find? Ignore the wheel nuts and any logos.

Rotational Symmetry 2

GAME 4 – WHICH NUMBER IS BEST?: I’ve seen lots of wheels with 7 spokes but only one car with 13 spokes. Which number do you see the most of?

GAME 5 – COUNTING WITHOUT COUNTING: can you recognise a wheel with 5 spokes just by looking at the shape? How about 6 spokes? What’s the biggest number you can “count without counting”?

GAME 6 – THE COOLEST WHEEL: there are some really cool wheel designs out there – here are some of my favourites. Can you find any really cool designs?

Car Wheels cool designs

Until next time: Happy Counting!