A Sandwich That’s Actually Cool

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.

A Sandwich That’s Actually Cool

August 2, 2017

Today is Ice Cream Sandwich Day! This sweet treat was invented in the early 1900s in New York City, when an ice-cream cart guy mashed vanilla ice cream between two thin cookies. By the way, the ice cream cone was invented around the same time, by wrapping a waffle around the scoop. Then the sandwich took new forms, like the chocolate-chip Chipwich in 1981. But as New York Times writer Ligaya Mishan found out, New York City alone has sandwiches made with coconut-jackfruit ice cream, ice cream flavored with grown-up liqueurs, and open sandwiches with no top layer at all. Mix and match your own cookies and ice cream to invent your own cool treat!

Wee ones: If an ice cream sandwich has a cookie, then a layer of ice cream, then another cookie, how many layers does it have?

Little kids: How many complete sandwiches can you make if you have 7 chocolate chip cookies handy?  Bonus: How many would you need to make 7 sandwiches?

Big kids: If you have 4 kinds of cookies — sugar, Oreos, chocolate-chip, and oatmeal — and 4 flavors of ice cream — coconut, mint, peanut butter, and pistachio — how many wild cookie-ice cream sandwich combos can you make? (Assume each sandwich uses 2 of the same cookie.)  Bonus: When did the Chipwich, born in 1981, have its 25th birthday?




Wee ones: 3 layers.

Little kids: Just 3, since that will use 6 cookies; you’d need 8 to make 4 sandwiches.  Bonus: 14 cookies (2 cookies apiece).

Big kids: 16 kinds, since each of the 4 pairs of cookies can go with any of the 4 flavors.  Bonus: In 2006.

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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 while still in diapers, 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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