Putting the Fun in Fungus

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.

Putting the Fun in Fungus

June 17, 2017

You might think of mushrooms as just plain little brown slices on your pizza or steak sandwich. But mushrooms can get way more interesting than that. The biggest mushroom ever, which broke the world record in 2014, measured almost 2 feet tall and was bigger than your head. But even more exciting might be the yakoh-take mushroom: it glows in the dark! This fun fungus doesn’t grow to more than an inch tall and an inch wide. But when the mushrooms reach full size, they glow green for about 3 days. That’s how they got their name, which means “night-light mushroom” in Japanese. Then they turn boring greyish-brown like most mushrooms…so if you want glowing pizza topping, you’d better slice ’em up fast.

Wee ones: Which is taller, a 1-foot mushroom or a 1-inch mushroom?

Little kids: How many glowing mushrooms can you count in this awesome photo? Count as high as you can!  Bonus: If the mushrooms start glowing on Tuesday at noon and glow for exactly 3 days, on what day do they stop glowing?

Big kids: Yakoh-take mushrooms like warm temperatures, growing best at 81 degrees. If your home is 72 degrees inside, how much warmer should you make it to grow yakoh-takes?  Bonus: If you can see your night-light from 12 feet away but see the mushrooms from 3 times as far, from how far can you see them?




Wee ones: The 1-foot mushroom, since that’s 12 inches.

Little kids: We think we see parts of up to 19 mushrooms!  Bonus: On Friday.

Big kids: 9 degrees.  Bonus: 36 feet.

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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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