Big Day for Ice Cream

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.

Big Day for Ice Cream

July 19, 2015

If you like ice cream, this is a big day for you. In the U.S. July is National Ice Cream Month, AND today is National Ice Cream Day, just to make sure everyone’s paying attention. President Ronald Reagan started National Ice Cream Month in 1984, but ice cream has been around much longer than that: even 2,400 years ago people in both Rome and China were mixing ice chips with fruit toppings. In the 1700s it made its way to America, and Presidents Washington and Jefferson served “iced cream” to their guests. The first ice cream parlor (shop) opened in New York City in 1776, the same exciting year that America declared its independence. Ice cream mixes together cream, milk, sugar, an egg if you want it thicker and richer, and flavorings like chocolate chips, nuts, or swirls of fruit, caramel or fudge. Those Romans would be jealous.

Wee ones: If you make ice cream and mix in chips, nuts, fruit AND caramel, how many flavorings do you use?

Little kids: If you order a wobbly 6-scoop ice cream cone, then get full after eating 4 scoops, how many scoops do you skip?  Bonus: If you can eat a cone in 5 minutes flat, how fast could you eat 4 of them if you did have room?

Big kids: If those big bins of ice cream at the shop hold 66 scoops, how many 2-scoop cones can you scoop?  Bonus: If 24 of those cones are those flat-bottomed ones that stand up, how many pointy ones do you scoop?

The sky’s the limit: National Ice Cream Day is always celebrated the 3rd Sunday in July. What is the earliest date it can happen, and what’s the latest date?




Wee ones: 4 flavorings.

Little kids: 2 scoops.  Bonus: 20 minutes.

Big kids: 33 cones.  Bonus: 9 pointy cones.

The sky’s the limit: July 15, and July 21. The earliest first Sunday possible is July 1, and the 3rd Sunday is 14 days later, making it July 15. The latest possible first Sunday is July 7, making the 3rd Sunday July 21.

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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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