Fingertip Food

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.

Fingertip Food

June 7, 2015

Last week we saw tiny people next to giant food…now we get to see tiny food. Artist Shay Aaron makes food items that are 1/12 the size of the real thing. His teensy pizza slices and sandwiches can fit on the tip of your finger. He uses clay in bright colors to make the food match perfectly, right down to little seeds in the watermelon and a slice of tomato in his sandwiches. They sit on plates the size of a penny. What’s even wilder is that if you shrink a ball- or cube-shaped food to 1/12 the width, 1/12 the height and 1/12 the length, the new food bit will hold only 1/12 x 1/12 x 1/12 as much “stuff” : you can fit 1,728 of the teeny ones inside the real one. Even if these tiny treats were made of real food, you’d still be very hungry after snacking on them.

Wee ones: If that plate is holding a braided roll, a pear, a watermelon slice and 2 cookies, how many pieces of food are there?

Little kids: If you line up 10 teeny hamburgers on your finger and you eat 2, how many are left?  Bonus: If each of the 10 hamburgers has 3 parts (2 slices of roll and the burger), how many little pieces did Shay have to make? 

Big kids: If the plate holding the snacks is just 1/2 inch wide, and the real plate he copied is 12 times as big, how wide is the real one?  Bonus: If Shay’s mini pepperoni pizza has 32 pepperoni slices on it, but the 1st wedge he cuts catches 4 pepperoni slices, how many slices are left on the rest of that pizza?

The sky’s the limit: If he’s made 24 teeny apples and 42 teeny avocados, and the number of teeny cookies is halfway between those two, how many teeny cookies has he made?




Wee ones: 5 pieces.

Little kids: 8 hamburgers.  Bonus: 30 pieces.

Big kids: 6 inches.  Bonus: 28 slices.

The sky’s the limit: 33 cookies. 24 and 42 are 18 apart, so the halfway mark will be 9 away from either of them.

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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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