Living in a Lego House

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.

Living in a Lego House

October 21, 2017

Sure, the Three Little Pigs built their houses out of straw, then sticks, then bricks. But did they ever think about using Lego? A few years ago people actually built a life-size house out of normal-sized Lego. A British TV show called “James May’s Toy Stories” brought together 1,200 people to build it, and it took them over a month! The 20-foot-tall striped house, which used more than 3 million bricks, even had a working toilet, a shower with running hot water, and a bumpy bed that probably wouldn’t be so comfy to sleep on. So many people wanted to help build the house that they started lining up at 4:30 a.m. that first day. No Big Bad Wolf ever came to blow the house down: it stood for a few days, then a team took it apart and gave away the pieces to kids. But we think this might have been strong enough for that third little pig.

Wee ones: If the house used 5 Lego colors but you wanted to add green, how many colors would the house use then?

Little kids: If the stripes were white, red, blue, yellow, black, and then started over to repeat, what color would the 12th stripe be?  Bonus: If you stand as tall as the 20th stripe, how many full sets of 5 colors would that be?

Big kids: Can you write the number 3 million in digits? How many zeros do you need?  Bonus: The volunteers started building on August 1 of that year, and finished on September 17. How many days after starting did they finish?




Wee ones: 6 colors.

Little kids: Red: since the colors repeat in 5s, it would be the same color as the 2nd stripe.  Bonus: 4 full sets.

Big kids: 3,000,000, which has 6 zeros.  Bonus: 47 days. August has 31 days, so August 31 is 30 days after the start. Then you add another 17 days.

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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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