Holy Cannoli!

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.

Holy Cannoli!

September 20, 2014

If you love chocolate chips, whipped cream, or crunchy deep-fried dough – or all three – then you would probably love cannoli, those Italian tube-shaped, cream-filled desserts (the singular is “cannolo,” just as “spaghetti” really means “more than one spaghetto”). In any case, today a New York City bakery hopes to make the world’s biggest cannolo ever. Ferrara Bakery in the Little Italy neighborhood will wrap a 12-foot sheet of dough around a huge tube, dunk it in a giant vat of hot oil to cook it, then fill it with nearly 300 pounds of whipped cream and top it with 50 pounds of chocolate chips. The cannolo shell will be so huge that when it’s empty you could crawl inside it. But you might want to wait on the outside so you can get a bite when the whole dessert is done.

Wee ones: Which is longer, a 2-inch cannolo or a 2-foot cannolo? Can you show with your hands how long an inch is vs. a foot?

Little kids: How much longer than you would a 12-foot cannolo be? (You can round your height to the closest number of whole feet.)  Bonus: The world’s largest cannolo was made in 2010. We’re in 2014 right now. How long has the record stood?

Big kids: The world’s largest cannolo weighed 123 pounds. If this one weighs 200 pounds more, how much will it weigh?  Bonus: If the round chocolate chips on a 2-inch cannolo are 1/20th as wide as the cannolo is long, how big should the chocolate chunks be on a 10-foot cannolo so they look the right size?





Wee ones: A 2-foot cannolo.

Little kids: Different for everyone…subtract your height (in feet) from 12.  Bonus: For 4 years.

Big kids: 323 pounds.  Bonus: 6 inches, about the size of a softball, since they’ll need to be 1/20th of 120 inches. Alternatively that’s 1/2 foot, since they’ll be 1/20th of 10 feet.

Photo: Alison Fayre via Wikimedia Commons
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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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