“Chocolate-Covered Anything” Day

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.

“Chocolate-Covered Anything” Day

December 16, 2014

Tree of chocolateChocolate is so delicious that it can taste just as good with other foods as it does by itself. Just about anything tastes good when dipped in gooey, melted chocolate — well, not anything, broccoli probably doesn’t work, but a lot of other foods do. That’s why we celebrate Chocolate-Covered Anything Day, which is today. The chocolate shoppe La Maison du Chocolat took things a step further by making a Chocolate Tree of Wonder for the holidays. It’s a dark chocolate spiral of 25 layers, decorated with nuts, pine cone shapes, droplet-shaped ornaments of “blonde” chocolate, and even some gold foil (you can actually eat small amounts of gold). The tree takes so much work to make that they charge $1,150 for it! The good news is, if that sounds like too much, you can melt your own chocolate and dip pretzels, marshmallows or strawberries, and celebrate today on your own.

Wee ones: What shape would you call this chocolate tree?

Little kids: There are 10 blonde ornaments in or on the tree. If you eat 3 of them, how many are left?  Bonus: If each of the 10 ornaments has 3 chocolate-covered nuts inside, how many nuts do they have together?

Big kids: If you buy one of these trees and stick 2 chocolate-covered strawberries onto each of the 25 layers, how many strawberries do you add?  Bonus: If you actually add them just to every 4th layer, what’s the greatest number of layers that can be strawberrified?

The sky’s the limit: If you’re the confectioner at La Maison, and you want to stick almonds on every other layer, walnuts on every 3rd layer, and gold foil on every 4th layer, starting with the top layer for all 3, how many other layers will get all 3 new ingredients?

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: A cone. In profile (from the side), it also looks like a triangle.

Little kids: 7 ornaments.  Bonus: 30 nuts in total.

Big kids: 50 strawberries.  Bonus: 7 layers, if you start at the very top. Instead of 4, 8, 12, etc. you’re fitting in layer 1 along with 5, 9, 13, etc.

The sky’s the limit: The 13th and 25th layers. Because you’re starting on the first layer, all foods will end up on numbers that are 1 more than the multiples. So you can solve this for the regular multiples – what numbers are divisible by 2, 3, and 4? That would be the 12th and 24th layers, so if you start at the top, it will instead by the 13th and 25th layers that get all three.

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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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