Going for the Gold

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.

Going for the Gold

August 5, 2016

Today marks the start of the 31st Olympic Games. People who are great at sports have come to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from all over the world to see who is the fastest, strongest, and best. Runners run, swimmers swim, gymnasts do flips. The winner in each sport gets a gold medal. They even have trampoline jumping, just to give more of us a chance at being good at something. 207 countries are sending more than 11,000 athletes to compete. That sounds like a lot of people, but think of it: they had to be the best out of 8 billion people! As they try to win the gold medal, victory will all come down to the numbers.

Wee ones: The flag for the Olympics has 5 rings. What numbers would you say to count them?

Little kids: If you can run down the block in 5 seconds, and your friend runs it in 7 seconds, which of you ran it faster?  Bonus: If the Summer Olympics happen every 4 years, in what year will we see the next Summer Olympics? See if you can count up from 2016!

Big kids: There are 4 different diving events, with gold, silver, and bronze medals for men and the same for women. How many different medals will be won for diving?  Bonus: 550 American athletes are competing, and 467 Brazilian. How many athletes are the 2 countries sending together?




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

Little kids: You ran faster, since you took fewer seconds.  Bonus: In 2020.

Big kids: 24 medals, since there are 12 for men and 12 for women.  Bonus: 1,017 athletes.

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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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