The post Lego That Melts in Your Mouth appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>This Lego isn’t just fun to play with: you can also eat it, because it’s chocolate! Just as you can mash Play-Doh into a “mold” — an empty container that gives the clay a certain shape — Akihiro Mizuuchi has made a Lego-shaped mold for chocolate. He pours melted chocolate into it, and it hardens into tasty snap-together bricks. The dark, milk and white chocolate all make different colors, plus you can dye white chocolate other shades. Other people have tried molding chocolate Lego before, but this mold really rocks because it makes the little word “LEGO” on each knob, just like real Lego bricks. Also, these bricks are hollow at the bottom, so they snap together well — if they haven’t already melted in your hands.

*Wee ones:* How many colors of chocolate Lego can you count in the top picture?

*Little kids:* If you take a layer of chocolate Legos, then snap a layer of real Legos on top, then a layer of chocolate Lego, then real ones…can you eat the 9th layer? *Bonus:* If you start with 4 layers of chocolate, THEN stack 1 real Lego layer and alternate, can you eat this 9th layer?

*Big kids:* If Akihiro has to melt a chocolate bar to make 4 Lego bricks, how many bars does he need to make 16 bricks? *Bonus:* If he’s building a chocolate castle that is 5 bricks wide across the front and back and 6 bricks across the left wall and right wall, and he builds 10 layers and then tops it with a 100-brick roof, how many chocolate Legos does he need to make for it?

*The sky’s the limit:* If Akihiro wants a giant Lego brick whose length can be divided by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, what’s the *smallest* number of bumps long that it can be?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 colors.

*Little kids:* Yes, because all odd-numbered layers will be chocolate. *Bonus:* Not this time, since the 5th layer is now real Lego along with the odd layers that follow.

*Big kids:* 4 chocolate bars. *Bonus:* 320 Legos: 50 for the front wall, 50 more for the back, 60 each for the left and right walls, and 100 on top.

*The sky’s the limit:* 60 bumps long. You don’t need to multiply out the big number 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6, because you don’t need so many factors. Once a number is divisible by 2 and 3, it’s automatically divisible by 6. And once it’s divisible by 4, you don’t need to multiply again by 2 to be divisible by 2 or 6. All you need is 2 x 2 x 3 x 5.

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]]>The post Train Ride in the Sky appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>It’s National Roller Coaster Day, when we celebrate our wildest amusement park rides. Giant curvy tracks give us a top-speed train ride straight down out of the sky. It’s been said the first roller coaster ever was built in Russia way back in the 1600s. It was built of wood on a mountain of ice, and was only about 70-80 feet tall. Today’s tallest roller coaster, the Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, tops out at 450 feet! Kingda Ka riders zoom at 128 miles an hour, and the very fastest coaster, the Formula Rossi in the United Arab Emirates, runs at 149 miles an hour — in case the other was too slow for you!

*Wee ones:* If the roller coaster sends you down 5 steep hills, what numbers do you scream out to count them?

*Little kids:* If the coaster takes 2 seconds for the first drop and the whole ride is 10 times as long as that, how long is the ride? *Bonus:* How many seconds after that 2 seconds do you still have to survive?

*Big kids:* How many feet taller than that long-ago 80-foot coaster is the 450-foot Kingda Ka? *Bonus:* If it were 20 times as tall as your 20-foot-tall house, how tall would it be?

*The sky’s the limit:* It turns out that 22 feet per second is the same speed as 15 miles an hour. If the coaster sends you down 176 feet in just one second, how many miles an hour are you traveling?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

*Little kids:* 20 seconds. *Bonus:* 18 seconds.

*Big kids:* 370 feet. *Bonus:* 400 feet — pretty close to its real height!

*The sky’s the limit:* A speedy 120 miles an hour. 176 feet per second is 8 times 22, so you’re going 8 x 15 miles an hour.

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]]>The post A Sundae for Taco Tuesday appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>That’s a funny-looking taco, isn’t it? That’s because it’s an ice cream birthday cake! The shell is a giant chocolate chip cookie folded into a taco. Then it was stuffed with other foods that look like real taco fillings: vanilla and chocolate ice cream for chicken and beef, yellow sprinkles for the cheese, frozen green frosting for the lettuce, chopped maraschino cherries for tomato, and whipped cream for sour cream. It was made in honor of the little people in * The Lego Movie*, who eat tacos for lunch on Taco Tuesday. But our lettuce and tomato taste better than theirs.

*Wee ones:* If the giant taco cake has sprinkles, cherries, frosting, and whipped cream, how many toppings does it have?

*Little kids:* If you’re nibbling ice cream taco cake and you eat the cherries, then sprinkles, then whipped cream, then back to cherries again to repeat, what are your next 2 bites? See if you can remember the pattern! *Bonus:* What food is in your 10th bite?

*Big kids:* If the Taco Tuesday cake is 5 regular tacos long, 3 tacos wide and 2 tacos tall, how many regular tacos could you fit inside this one? (*Hint of needed:* What if it was the same height, but still 5 tacos long and 3 tacos wide? And don’t worry about edges lining up.) *Bonus:* If the taco cake uses 14 times as much topping as a regular taco, how many teaspoons of sprinkles were needed if a real taco uses 4 teaspoons?

*The sky’s the limit:* If the vanilla ice cream and chocolate ice cream add up to 16 scoops, the vanilla ice cream and whipped cream add up to 19 scoops, and the chocolate ice cream and whipped cream add up to 21 scoops, how many scoops of each ingredient were used?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 toppings.

*Little kids:* Sprinkles, then whipped cream. *Bonus:* Cherries.

*Big kids:* 30 tacos. *Bonus:* 56 teaspoons.

*The sky’s the limit:* There are 7 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 9 scoops of chocolate and 12 scoops of whipped cream. A quick way to solve it: if vanilla + chocolate is 16 but vanilla + whipped is 19, then there are 3 more scoops of whipped cream than chocolate. Choc + whipped is 21, which means if the whipped came down 3 to the chocolate amount, they’d add up to 18, or 9 scoops each. So there are 9 scoops of chocolate, and from there you can figure out the rest.

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]]>The post The Secret to Our Streets appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Did you know that our highways — the really big interstate ones — all follow a code? Look at the ones that stretch across the whole US: I-90 runs from Seattle to Boston, I-80 from northern California to New Jersey, and I-10 from southern California to Florida. Notice that all those numbers are even: east-west interstates get even numbers, and north-south ones get odds. The major ones are also multiples of 5, so those cross-country ones are multiples of 10. Better yet, the highways are lined up in numerical order. Small east-west numbers start way south in Florida, ending with I-90 and other high numbers way up north. I-5 in the West runs through Washington, Oregon and California, while I-95 runs down the East Coast. With over 46,000 miles of interstates, we need a good way to keep track.

*Wee ones:* If you were numbering interstates in order, what number would come after I-5?

*Little kids:* Can you name all the numbers from 1 to 10 that could be east-west (even) interstate numbers? *Bonus:* Can you name all the multiples of 10 from I-10 to I-90?

*Big kids:* I-90 is the longest interstate at 3,020 miles, and the 2nd-longest is I-80 at about 2,900 miles. About how much longer is I-90? *Bonus:* On the big highway signs for interstates, that little blue and red shield is 3 feet tall! It looks tiny only because it’s so high up. How much taller than that shield symbol are you, in inches?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* I-6.

*Little kids:* They will be the even numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. *Bonus:* I-20, I-30, I-40, I-50, I-60, I-70, and I-80. But there’s no real I-50 or I-60, since they’d run right near the US highways with those numbers.

*Big kids:* 120 miles longer. *Bonus:* Different for everyone… find your height in inches and subtract 36 inches, since that is 3 feet.

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]]>The post Hitchhiker Kitten appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Here’s a kitten who likes to go places: she hitched a ride by hiding under the hood of a car! A person who works at Mars, the candy company, left his house in Pennsylvania and drove to the candy factory in New Jersey, 28 miles away. After he parked, people heard meows coming from the car. They found the cat INSIDE the front of the car under the hood (the big lid). The engine gets very hot, so it’s amazing the kitten lived through the half-hour ride. The car owner drove the kitten back to Pennsylvania, where a family adopted the cat — and of course they named her Mars!

*Wee ones:* If Mars the kitten drove from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, then back to Pennsylvania, then again to her new home, how many car rides is that?

*Little kids:* Which is *shorter*, an 8-mile car ride or a 4-mile car ride? *Bonus:* If the candy worker left his house at 8:00 am and drove for exactly 1/2 hour, at what time did he and Mars get to the factory?

*Big kids:* The kitten drove 28 miles to NJ, then 28 miles back, then another 21 miles to her new home. How far did the kitten drive? *Bonus:* Who drives farther, a puppy who rides for 3 hours at 30 miles each hour, or a kitten who rides for 4 hours at 25 miles per hour?

*The sky’s the limit:* If Mars drove from the candy factory to a house 30 miles away, and at the exact same time a dog left his doghouse and drove to the *factory* at twice the speed of the kitten, how far from the house would they meet?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 car rides.

*Little kids:* The 4-mile ride. *Bonus:* At 8:30 am.

*Big kids:* 77 miles. *Bonus:* The cat, since it drives 100 miles vs. 90 for the dog.

*The sky’s the limit:* 20 miles from the doghouse (10 miles from the factory). If the dog is driving twice as fast, any piece it drives will be twice as long as whatever the cat drove in that time. So when they meet, the dog will have driven 2 pieces like the cat’s piece, so the whole distance has been carved into 3 equal pieces. Out of 30 miles, that makes each piece 10 miles long. The cat drove just 1 stretch 10 miles long, and the dog drove 2 times that, or 20 miles.

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]]>The post A Tummy Scratch for Elephants appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Today is World Elephant Day, when we honor our grey, trunk-swinging friends and remind ourselves to keep them safe. So we’re loving this photo of a very itchy elephant stopping to scratch his tummy on a couple’s car when they drove too close. Those who take care of elephants can tell you how much attentionthey need: zookeepers in St. Louis bathe their Asian elephants once a week, and every day they have to weigh them, check out their toenails without getting stepped on, and feed them 125 pounds of food! Luckily you don’t have to have a pet elephant to enjoy World Elephant Day.

*Wee ones:* How many legs does that itchy elephant have? Do you have more legs or fewer?

*Little kids:* If you take a bath every day and an elephant takes 1 bath each week, which of you takes more baths? *Bonus:* Elephants eat 100 pounds just in hay each day. How much hay do they eat in a week? Count up by 100s!

*Big kids:* Elephants actually eat 210 pounds of food each day, because they nibble on trees and shrubs. How many pounds more is that above the 125 pounds of fancy zoo food? *Bonus:* Elephants eat huge amounts because they digest only 60% (6/10) of their food! Then how many pounds of that 125 pounds of food “count”? (*Hint if needed:* See if you can simplify the fraction to make the math easier…)

*The sky’s the limit:* If a car weighs 3,000 pounds and an elephant weighs 8,000 pounds, how many ways can you stack cars and elephants to weigh a total of 55,000 pounds?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 legs, and you have fewer — just 2!

*Little kids:* You take more baths. *Bonus:* 700 pounds: 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700.

*Big kids:* 85 extra pounds. *Bonus:* Just 75 pounds, since 6/10 is also 3/5.

*The sky’s the limit:* There are only 2 combinations that work, since there are only 2 multiples of 8,000 that have a multiple-of-3 gap from 55,000. You can have 2 elephants (16,000 lbs), which leaves 39,000 lbs of car, or 13 cars. Or you can jump by 3 elephants so you maintain a 3-divisible gap, giving you 5 elephants (40,000 lbs) and 5 cars (15,000 lbs).

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]]>The post The Bike That Walks on Water appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Dirt bikes let you ride up and down hills, zoom off ramps and flip upside-down. Surfing lets you soar through the air as ocean waves push you. So how about doing both at the same time? As we see in this video, famous dirt biker Robbie Maddison built a bike that drives on water. When he pedals, he paddles, because that back tire works like a big paddlewheel from an old steamer boat. The bike also has water skis on the sides to help it float. The skis are just above the bottoms of the tires, so the bike can roll right onto the shore and keep driving on land!

*Wee ones:* If the bike has 2 wheels plus that paddlewheel, how many wheels does it have in total?

*Little kids:* If you can pedal-paddle the boat bike 9 miles an hour and row a regular boat 5 miles an hour, which one is faster? *Bonus:* How much faster is the boat bike?

*Big kids:* It took Robbie 2 1/2 years to build this bike. If he finished in August, in what month did he start? *Bonus:* If he then rides it for another 2 1/2 years from that time, in what month would that take him to?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 wheels.

*Little kids:* The boat bike. *Bonus:* 4 miles an hour faster.

*Big kids:* In February. *Bonus:* In February, again, because an even 2 years would take him to August again.

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]]>The post Eat Like an Animal appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>If you’ve ever wondered how a lizard eats — or want to eat like one yourself — you’ll love this video. Two guys try to eat the way animals do. They had to hop, jump, slam their heads on the table, and do other things that we humans wouldn’t call good manners. Of course, the animals all eat different foods. “Carnivores” are meat-eating animals that eat other critters. “Herbivores” eat fruits, veggies and nuts. And “omnivores” eat both sets of food. Depending on their favorite foods, animals have different-shaped jaws, teeth, and paws and claws for holding their food. But none of them eats off a plate very well.

*Wee ones:* If the guys eat like a cow, alligator, lizard, dinosaur, whale, groundhog, kangaroo, flamingo, and rhino, how many animals do they copy?

*Little kids:* Who has more legs, 3 flamingos together or a rhino? *Bonus:* How about the cow, the groundhog, and the lizard? How many legs do they have all together?

*Big kids:* If the guys had to film each of the 9 animals twice and broke 2 plates in *each* filming, how many plates did they break? *Bonus:* If it took 20 minutes to film a set of 3 animals, how long did it take to film all 9 animals?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you invite flamingos and alligators over for dinner, how many of each animal do you have if they have 24 legs in total and there are 8 more flamingo legs than gator legs?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 9 animals.

*Little kids:* The 3 flamingos, since they have 6 vs. 4 for the rhino. *Bonus:* 12 legs (4 apiece).

*Big kids:* 36 plates, since they break 4 per animal. *Bonus:* 60 minutes, since there are 3 sets of 3.

*The sky’s the limit:* 2 gators and 8 flamingos. If there are 8 more flamingo legs than gator legs, you need 2 numbers 8 apart that add up to 24 (the total leg count). One way to do this: if you didn’t have the 8 extra flamingo legs, you’d have 16 in total (24-8). That gives you 8 gator legs, which would be 2 gators, and 8 flamingo legs, which would be 4. But remember, there are 8 more flamingo legs than that, so you have to add back another 4 flamingos.

The post Eat Like an Animal appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post How to Blow Up a Watermelon appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>One of the coolest, juiciest summer treats is watermelon. This giant fruit grows out of a flower on a plant, so it’s actually a berry. You may have tried watermelon, but we bet you’ve never tried to make one explode. Crazy Russian Hacker and his brother strapped lots and lots of rubber bands around a watermelon. Eventually the rubber bands squeezed the watermelon so tightly that they crushed it. This video shows the guys nervously strapping the rubber bands onto the waiting watermelon. Watch to see the explosion in slow motion — and the cool rubber band ball it makes at the end!

*Wee ones:* Find 3 green things in your room, and line them up from smallest to biggest.

*Little kids:* If your watermelon slice has 7 seeds and your friend’s slice has 9 seeds, whose has more seeds? *Bonus:* If you’ve just strapped the 12th rubber band onto your watermelon, what number rubber band comes next?

*Big kids:* If the guys just strapped on the 60th rubber band, what number band came 3 bands before that one? *Bonus:* The world’s record-breaking watermelon weighed 350 pounds. How much more than you does it weigh?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Items might include clothes, leaves or blades of grass, crayons or Lego. Try lining them up!

*Little kids:* Your friend’s slice. *Bonus:* The 13th band.

*Big kids:* The 57th band. *Bonus:* Different for everyone…subtract your weight in pounds from 350!

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]]>The post When Your Food Makes a Face appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Food is way more fun when it makes faces at you. One webpage has collected photos of fruits and veggies that look a lot like people and animals, just because they grew funny. Potatoes look amazingly like sheep or teddy bears, tomatoes look like a duck and a horned devil, and squashes look like geese and ducks. Carrots, parsnips and radishes have split to grow extra branches, and end up looking like people with arms and legs. They’re all root vegetables (the underground part of the plant). Next time you shop for groceries, take a good look at the veggies: they might be looking right back at you.

*Wee ones:* Tomatoes are red. Try to find 3 red things in your room.

*Little kids:* The “bear” potato has 4 bumps for the legs and 1 more bump to make the head. How many bumps is that? *Bonus:* There are 5 photos of carrots (including one that looks like an astronaut), but 2 of those photos each show 2 carrots hugging. How many carrots are in these photos all together?

*Big kids:* If you take 28 crazy food photos of your fridge and 6 photos have potatoes in them, how many don’t have potatoes? *Bonus:* If it took 5 minutes to pose and photograph each of the 28 foods, how many hours and minutes of photography time did it take?

*The sky’s the limit:* Suppose 1 out of every 25 potatoes and 1 out of every 20 carrots looks like an animal or face. If you go shopping and buy 100 potatoes and 60 carrots, are you likely to end up with more fun potatoes or more fun carrots?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Items might include shirts, socks, Lego blocks, or crayons.

*Little kids:* 5 bumps. *Bonus:* 7 carrots, since there are 2 extras in total.

*Big kids:* 22 photos. *Bonus:* 140 minutes (5 x 28), which is 2 hours 20 minutes.

*The sky’s the limit:* More fun potatoes. Chances say you’ll get 4 fun potatoes (1/25 of 100) but just 3 fun carrots (1/20 of 60).

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