Trick Ice Cream

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.

Trick Ice Cream

October 29, 2014

Ice cream is already a pretty exciting treat: cold, yummy sweetness that melts on your tongue, sometimes with crunch or caramel mixed in. But ice cream that changes color when you lick it might be even better. Manuel Linares, a Spanish physicist, has invented ice cream that turns from light purple to pink as soon as your tongue touches it. The chemical he mixed in changes not only because of the change in temperature (since your tongue is warm), but also because of the acids in your mouth. He’s keeping his tricks a secret until he gets a “patent,” which names him the official inventor so no one else can steal the idea and make money from it. But you can taste the ice cream yourself at Manuel’s shop in Blanes, Spain. He’s named the flavor “Xamaleon” after the chameleon, the lizard whose skin can change color. If he can make ice cream change to other colors, you could scoop yourself one crazy ice cream cone.

Wee ones: If the ice cream could turn pink after the 1st lick, then blue, then back to purple, then pink, then blue…what are the next 2 colors?

Little kids: If you scoop 4 scoops of Xamaleon and 1/2 of them turn from purple to pink, how many of each color do you have now?  Bonus: If you scoop a super-tall 13-scoop cone, and lick every 3rd scoop to make it pink starting with the 1st, what color will the 10th scoop be?

Big kids: If Manuel charges just $2 for a regular cone but $5 for a Xamaleon cone, how much more money in total does he get for 10 Xamaleon cones?  Bonus: If you can get 78 scoops out of a big tub of Xamaleon, how many 2-scoop cones can that tub give you?




Wee ones: Purple, then pink!

Little kids: 2 scoops of each color.  Bonus: Pink, along with the 4th and 7th scoops.

Big kids: $30, since he fetches $3 more for each.  Bonus: 39 cones.

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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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