Strut Like a Snack Machine

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.

Strut Like a Snack Machine

October 19, 2017

It’s that time of year when Americans have to pick out their Halloween costumes. There are always lots of ghosts, witches and princesses. But the world has a lot more costume ideas for you. So we’re loving this webpage of wacky costumes invented by clever kids. Our favorite might be the vending machine shown here: it’s going to end up full of candy anyway, so why not start off that way? The page also shows kids dressed up as sushi, a glowing stick person, and a working Transformer that switches from car to robot and back. One kid turned his wheelchair into an amazing backhoe. Another became a walking penny, and another dressed up as the family cat. As we’ll see, the great ideas add up.

Wee ones: If the Transformer becomes a car, then a robot, then a car, then a robot…what comes next?

Little kids: If the walking vending machine has 3 rows of snacks with 3 snacks in each, how many snacks are there in total?  Bonus: If you reached into that costume and cleared out 4 of the snacks, how many would be left?

Big kids: The “Grandma baby” is wearing rows of cotton balls to look like curly white hair. If there are exactly 9 balls in each row, could she have 36 in total?  Bonus: If the sushi girl gets 30 pieces of candy while trick-or-treating, the penny gets 54 piece, and the walking piñata gets the number exactly halfway between, how many treats does the piñata get?




Wee ones: A car.

Little kids: 9 snacks.  Bonus: 5 snacks.

Big kids: Yes. All multiples of 9 have digits that add up to a multiple of 9!  Bonus: 42 pieces, since 30 and 54 are 24 apart, the number halfway will be 12 away from each.

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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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