Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site Math Game

Goodnight Goodnight Constructon Site Easy and Fun Math Game, the smile line


We read Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker together.  Just like the trucks in the story needed to go to sleep, we talked about the toy vehicles in our house needing a place to sleep.  My boys LOVE their toy trucks, cars, and airplanes!  I always hear them saying, ‘Vroom!, Vroom!’

We decided a garage was a good place for the toys to sleep. Could we create a garage for them to sleep in?  The kids decided it would be called the Transportation Garage.

Beginner Version of Garage Game


  • paper
  • markers
  • cars
  • trucks
  • tape
  • post it notes

We discussed the importance of garages having order so nothing gets damaged.  Each vehicle would have its own numbered parking spot.  No two spots would share a spot.

  • Draw dots on each piece of paper representing numbers 1 through 10.
  • Tape the dotted paper onto the back of each vehicle.  Mix up the vehicles so they are not in number order.
  • Create the garage by putting post it notes of numbers 1 through ten in order.

Taking turns let’s count the dots on each vehicle and place them into their correct parking space. 

Encourage them to count aloud to check their thinking.

I noticed right away that Robbie (3) was looking at the dots and getting confused.  He was repeating dots.  We practiced pointing to each dot and counting aloud slowly.  We also worked on number recognition when looking at the garage.


Push that Math Brain!

Danny (5) was using strategies with his counting, so I went with it!

Instead of counting by ones, can we count the dots by twos?

I notice parking spot 7 is one the spots left.  Can you make a smart guess as to which vehicle it would be?  Why?

Robbie did a great job working on number recognition and counting.  Danny was ready for a more advanced version of the garage game.


Advanced Version Of Garage Game

  • Create subtraction equations that have solutions of 1 through 5 (example 4-2=).  The parking spot will be the solution to each equation.
  • Tape the paper on five vehicles.
  • Create the garage by placing post it notes with numbers 1 through 5. (I did not want to overwhelm Danny by doing more than five equations together.)

What do you notice about the papers on each vehicle?  I do not see dots, so what do you think these numbers mean? 

We talked about the terms number sentence and equation.  I gave an example using subtraction.  Danny really likes it because it involved candy.  If I had 3 pieces of candy and ate one, how many would I have left?


Choose one vehicle and try to solve the number sentence using your words, your fingers, and saying the equation aloud. 

Danny immediately added fingers rather than taking them away.  This was great because we talked about subtraction versus addition.


The answer or solution to the number sentence is your parking space.  Place the vehicle in the correct parking space. 

The equations took a lot of thinking and good Math talk!  I was sure to use many math terms with Danny.  This will help with further instruction.


Mistakes are good!

I was happy to see a mistake because then we could learn more together.  Danny ended up with two vehicles in one parking spot.  He figured out that one of the equations was incorrect and he quickly changed his answer.


After all vehicles are in their parking spots, refer back to Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site to create a good night sentence.  This is a great writing extension!  We used repetition just as it is done in the book.

Shh… goodnight, Transportation Garage, goodnight.

Shh… goodnight, Toys, goodnight. 

Shh…goodnight, Vehicles, goodnight.


Extension Ideas

  • Create a number line together
  • Write your own equations using addition
  • Create a garage only using odd or even numbers


** Game adapted from The Dad Lab (

Spread the Smiles