A Sculpture That’s Snow Joke

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 Sculpture That’s Snow Joke

February 21, 2016

Largest snow sculptureAs we saw earlier this winter, you can build a snowman as tall as you want, if you have the trucks and shovels to do the job. But why stop with one person-shaped snow lump? Bedtime Math fan Vasily M. asked us, what’s the biggest snow sculpture ever built? (And drew this awesome snow sculpture picture!) To sculpt means to carve shapes and designs out of any workable material, whether it’s clay, stone, or in this case, snow. Back in 2007, about 600 sculptors at a festival in China made a huge 656-foot-wide sculpture, named “Romantic Feelings.” It included temples with fancy rooftops, faces carved into walls, and a giant woman with waves of flowing hair. It stood 115 tall, very close to the height of our friend Olympia, the record-holding snowwoman. But it used a whopping 120,000 cubic feet of snow, thanks to being many times wider than Olympia. After all that work, we hope the weather stayed cold so that giant sculpture could stick around a while!

Wee ones: Which temple’s “spire” (pointy top) stands taller from the ground, the one on the left, or the one on the right?

Little kids: There are 3 big snow roses under the right temple, 3 more to its side, and finally 1 more way below. How many roses is that in total?  Bonus: How many more roses would they need to carve to have 10 in total?

Big kids: Snowwoman Olympia stood 122 feet tall. How much taller was she than this 115-foot sculpture?  Bonus: If Olympia was just 80 feet wide, how many of her would have to stand in a row to be wider than this sculpture?

The sky’s the limit: If the temples and hair each used the same amount of snow, and the rest of the sculpture used twice as much snow as those together, how many cubic feet of snow did the hair use?




Wee ones: The temple on the right.

Little kids: 7 snow roses.  Bonus: 3 more roses.

Big kids: 7 feet taller.  Bonus: 9 of her, since 8 of her would be just 640 feet wide.

The sky’s the limit: 20,000 cubic feet of snow. If the rest of it used twice as much as the hair and temples together, then the hair and buildings together used 1/3 of the total, giving them 40,000 cubic feet. Then the hair used 1/2 of that.

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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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