Put Your Best Lego Forward

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.

Put Your Best Lego Forward

December 9, 2014

If you love Lego, you’ve probably built some of their sets by following their instructions – but maybe you’ve also used the pieces to invent your own crazy cars, castles, and moving animals. Someone else might want to build your idea, too. So Lego has a webpage where anyone like you can share what new sets they think Lego should sell. You build a new cool invention, take a picture, write down what pieces you needed, and then send it to them. Then you try to get people to vote for your idea. If you get 10,000 votes or more, the Lego folks will look at your idea and might choose it as a new Lego set! If you think you’ve thought up the best pink and silver spaceship, checkerboard ice fort, or 2-foot-tall giraffe, here’s your chance to share that idea – and maybe see it come to life.

Wee ones: If you’ve thought up a new spaceship, ice fort, stripey giraffe and robotic bird, how many new Lego set ideas do you have?

Little kids: If your crazy new Lego giraffe uses 6 colors, but Lego thinks it needs some orange and blue, how many colors does it use now, if orange and blue weren’t already in?  Bonus: If the giraffe’s neck uses 2 blocks of each color, how many blocks does it use?

Big kids: If your new ice fort is a checkerboard of 60 white blocks and the same number of blue blocks, how many blocks does it use?  Bonus: If Lego wants the set to have exactly 180 blocks, and you make all those new blocks white, how many times as much white as blue does it have now?

The sky’s the limit: If your spaceship needs triangle wing pieces, twice as many engine pieces as wing pieces, and 52 regular blocks, and they want the whole set to have 76 pieces, how many wings and engines will it have?




Wee ones: 4 ideas for sets.

Little kids: 8 colors.  Bonus: 16 blocks.

Big kids: 120 blocks.  Bonus: Twice as much white as blue, since it now has 120 whites and 60 blues.

The sky’s the limit: The wings and engines will together have 24 pieces. So there will be 8 wing pieces and 16 engine pieces. (Using algebra: if the e engine pieces are twice the w wing pieces, then
w +2w = 24
3w = 24
w = 8, and the engines are 2w = 16.)

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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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