Hot Dog Days of Summer

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.

Hot Dog Days of Summer

July 23, 2015

Not only is July National Ice Cream Month, it’s also National Hot Dog Month, and today is National Hot Dog Day! Hot dogs might not be as sweet a treat, but people love them just as much: Americans eat 20 billion of them every year, with 7 billion of those eaten just during the summer. Surveys show that while kids like to put ketchup on their hot dogs, most grown-ups use mustard. Someone also figured out the math: it takes 6 bites to gulp down a whole dog. The biggest hot dog ever was made in 2011 in Paraguay, in South America: it measured 669 feet long and weighed 264 pounds. The question is, how many bites did it take to eat that one?

Wee ones: If you take 6 bites to eat your hot dog, what numbers would you say to count them off?

Little kids: They say 9 out of 10 grown-ups squirt mustard on their hot dogs. How many of those 10 grown-ups don’t?  Bonus: If you eat a plain hot dog, then one with ketchup, then one with mustard, then start over with a plain dog, what kind of dog do you eat 11th?

Big kids: If you eat 1 hot dog the first day of July, 4 the second day, and 9 on the third day…how many do you probably eat on the 4th day?  Bonus: If you and your friends each weigh 50 pounds, do 5 of you together weigh as much as the record 264-pound hot dog?

The sky’s the limit: If only 200 million Americans like hot dogs, and together they eat 20 billion hot dogs a year, how many hot dogs per person is that? (Hint if needed: What if each person ate 10 hot dogs?)




Wee ones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Little kids: 1 grown-up.  Bonus: Ketchup, since it’s 2 hot dogs after the 9th, which gets mustard.

Big kids: 16 hot dogs – ugh!  Bonus: No – the 5 of you weigh only 250 pounds.

The sky’s the limit: 100 hot dogs per person. 10 per person would bring you to 2 billion dogs, so you need 10 times as many as 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 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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