Baby You Can Drive My…Balloons?

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.

Baby You Can Drive My…Balloons?

December 22, 2016

Maybe you’ve been to a party where a balloon artist twists long, skinny balloons into a dog, giraffe, or other crazy shape. Usually these squishy, bouncy animals use only 4-5 balloons total. But in 2013, people in Tasmania, Australia broke the world record for the largest balloon structure ever. DJ Michael AhMazing and his followers looped together 87,930 balloons to make a giant Wiggles car. During the event one balloon-blower set his own speed record of adding 84 balloons in 2 minutes. Good thing balloons filled with regular air don’t float, or that car would zoom into the sky.

Wee ones: How many colors can you count inside each black tire?

Little kids: In the closest tire to us, which color is in the top right part of the hubcap?   Bonus: If you helped by adding a blue balloon, then a red, then a yellow, then a blue again to repeat the pattern, what color would your 10th balloon be?

Big kids: If each wheel used 50 balloons for each of the 4 color sections, plus another 100 black balloons for the tires, how many total balloons did each wheel need?  Bonus: If the 4 tires were the only black balloons used, how many of the 87,930 balloons were other colors? See if you can remember that number in your head!

The sky’s the limit: If you helped out by adding on 28 balloons, and you added twice as many blue as purple, and twice as many purple as black, how many of each color did you add?

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: 4 colors: blue, red, purple and yellow.

Little kids: Purple balloons.  Bonus: Blue, since the 9th would be yellow to finish a set of 3.

Big kids: 300 balloons: 200 inside, plus 100 for the tire.  Bonus: 87,530 balloons.

The sky’s the limit: 16 blue, 8 purple and 4 black. For each 1 black balloon you add on 2 purple and 4 blue (double the purple). So you add them in sets of 7. Your 28 can fit 4 of those sets, which means 4 black, which then means 8 purple and 16 blue.

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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 while still in diapers, 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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