Happy Birthday, New York!

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.

Happy Birthday, New York!

July 26, 2014

On this day in 1788, New York became the 11th state in the United States. New York is famous mostly because of New York City, which has the most people of any U.S. city and was even its capital from 1785 to 1790; in 1789 George Washington was inaugurated president right on Wall Street. One out of every 38 Americans lives here, and where else can you find gold, diamonds and other precious stones right in the sidewalks and gutters? (This article tells you where to look). But the whole state has a lot to be proud of. It’s home to the country’s largest waterfalls, at Niagara Falls, and the Genesee River, one of the few that runs south to north. It’s home to the first railroad, which ran 11 miles from Albany to Schenectady, and to America’s longest-running newspaper, The New York PostToilet paper was invented in New York. So whether you’re looking for gold, toilet paper, or beautiful scenery, in New York State you’ll find them all.

Wee ones: If the guy who finds jewels in the gutter finds bits of diamond, ruby, platinum and gold, how many precious materials does he find?

Little kids: New York State turns 226 years old today. How old will New York State turn next summer?  Bonus: If New York was the capital from 1785 to 1790, how many years was that? Count up if it helps! (Assume it became capital and lost the honor the same time of year.)

Big kids: In New York City a slice of pizza and the fare for a subway ride always cost the same, at least since 1960. Back then they each cost 15 cents, and in the 1970’s they each cost 35 cents. How much more did a slice or a ride cost in the 70’s?  Bonus: In 2002 each one finally reached $2.00. How much had they gone up since the 70’s? (Reminder: 1 dollar has 100 cents.)




Wee ones: 4 precious materials.

Little kids: 227 years old.  Bonus: 5 years.

Big kids: 20 cents more.  Bonus: $1.65 (a dollar and 65 cents, or 165 cents).

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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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