A Real Steal for Cereal

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 Real Steal for Cereal

February 18, 2018

Even a big box of cereal weighs hardly anything. It can fill a lot of bowls, but it’s so light you can throw it across the kitchen (not that you should). Even lighter are those mini boxes of cereal that hold just 1 serving. So our fan Henry S. asked, how many mini boxes fit inside a big cereal box? This turns out to be a great question, because those mini boxes cost a LOT more money for each bite. A big box holds 12-14 ounces, while the mini boxes hold almost exactly 1 ounce. A big box costs around $3 or $4 — but so does the 8-pack of minis at Walmart. On the other hand, those combo packs give you lots of flavors to try, and that excitement might be worth it.

Wee ones: How many “faces” (flat sides) does a cereal box have? Or count them on a shoebox or other rectangular box!
Little kids: If a combo pack has 2 mini boxes of rice Chex, 2 wheat Chex, and 2 cinnamon Chex, how many boxes does it have in total?  Bonus: If you eat a rice Chex on Tuesday, then wheat on Wednesday, then cinnamon the next day, then start over with rice, on what day do you eat the 2nd cinnamon Chex?
Big kids: Kellogg’s 30-pack of minis has 8 different cereals. If the boxes are divided among the flavors as equally as possible, for how many flavors do you get an extra box?  Bonus: If that 30-pack costs $21, how many ounces of cereal could you get if you instead bought a bunch of $3 12-ounce boxes?
The sky’s the limit: If you have 10 mini boxes in 2 rows of 5, and that includes 2 boxes of Apple Jacks somewhere, how many different ways can those 2 boxes of Apple Jacks be placed?






Wee ones: 6 faces: front, back, left, right, top, bottom.
Little kids: 6 mini boxes.  Bonus: On Sunday.
Big kids: 6, since 3 each of every flavor gives you just 24 boxes.  Bonus: 84 ounces, since you’d be able to buy 7 12-ounce boxes.
The sky’s the limit: 45 ways. If the 1st box is in the 1st slot, the other box has 9 different slots where it can go, giving us 9 choices to start. Then if the 1st box is in the 2nd slot, the 2nd box has just 8 places to go; it can’t go in the 1st slot because you’ve already counted that situation. Then with the 1st box in the 3rd slot, the 2nd box has 7 places to go, and so on. You get 9+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1, or 45 ways.
Meanwhile, which Presidents have had the best pets? Find out tomorrow!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.

More posts from this author