A Fairy-Tale Castle for Real

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.

A Fairy-Tale Castle for Real

December 25, 2014

Have you ever wanted to live in a fairy-tale castle? This is a real castle called the Swallow’s Nest, on the south coast of Crimea, and would make anyone feel like a king or queen. It was built in 1912 by a billionaire baron, who then sold it to the Czar’s court doctor. The pointy windows are “Gothic” style, and you can draw arches like those by drawing an exact arc (section of a circle) on each side. The castle looks almost cute with its thin pointy towers, but it survived a big earthquake in 1927 and still stands today — in case you’re looking for a castle as your home.

Wee ones: What shape are the spires, or pointy towers on the castle roof?

Little kids: If your friend’s castle has 6 spires, and your castle has 5 spires and you build on 3 more, who ends up with more spires?  Bonus: If your home is 20 feet tall and you add on a 10-foot spire, how high is the tip of that spire?

Big kids: As castles go, this one isn’t so huge: it’s just 33 feet wide and twice as long. How long is it?  Bonus: The castle was finished in 1912. For how many years has it stood, even with that earthquake? (Right now we’re still in 2014.)




Wee ones: Triangles. In 3D they are cones.

Little kids: You do, with 8.  Bonus: 30 feet.

Big kids: 66 feet long – about 4-5 car lengths.  Bonus: 102 years.

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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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