Tower of Daredevils

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.

Tower of Daredevils

November 14, 2018

Spain Human TowerIf you’ve ever tried to carry someone piggyback, you know it’s hard work. Now imagine that friend standing on your shoulders, with 8 other people stacked above both of you! Every year in Spain, people come together to see who can stack up to make the tallest tower, or “castell” — without anyone falling. Each team’s members crowd together, then start stepping on each other’s heads and grabbing each other’s sashes to climb up. Some people have made castells 10 people-layers high! The bottom level is called the “pinya”: their job is to hold everyone up, and catch anyone who falls. If you like heights you can climb to the top; if you don’t, you can stay at the bottom, but be ready to be stepped on.

Wee ones: If a tower has 6 layers of people stacked, what number layer is next?

Little kids: If you stack a green-shirt person, then blue, then green, then blue, then green, does the tower have more green shirts or blue shirts?  Bonus: If they stack 9 layers and you’re in the very middle layer, in which layer are you?

Big kids: If you’re in a 14-layer tower, and there are 3 more layers below you than above you, in which layer are you?  Bonus: If everyone in a 10-layer tower is 5 1/2 feet tall, how high is the top of the tippy-top person’s head?












Wee ones: The 7th layer.

Little kids: More green shirts.  Bonus: The 5th layer.

Big kids: 5 above you and 8 below, so you’re the 9th layer. You need 2 numbers 3 apart that add to 13 (all the layers minus your own).  Bonus: 55 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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