Ring in the Onions

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.

Ring in the Onions

June 22, 2015

Onions may be super stinky, and slicing them might make your eyes sting. But onions can do something fun that most foods can’t: pop apart into cute little circles. When you cut across an apple or cucumber, you get one flat, round slice. But because onions grow in layers from the center, a slice of onion breaks into rings of all different sizes. If you dip those rings in a milk and flour batter, and fry them in hot oil like fried chicken, they become crispy golden onion rings. Today is National Onion Ring Day, so what better time to celebrate these crunchy treats? Toss them on your hamburger or eat them straight; just close your eyes when you slice them up to make them.

Wee ones: What shape is an onion ring?

Little kids: If your first slice from the top of the onion makes 3 rings, and the next slice makes 5 and the next makes 7…how many rings does the next slice probably make?  Bonus: If it takes 10 minutes to fry your onion rings and you start at 6:20 pm, when will you finish?

Big kids: If you can cut 20 onion rings from 1 onion, at least how many onions do you need to feed 90 people 1 ring apiece?  Bonus: Some say the onion ring was invented back in the year 1802! How long ago was that? (Right now we’re in 2015.)




Wee ones: A circle.

Little kids: 9 rings.  Bonus: At 6:30 pm.

Big kids: 5 onions, since 4 onions will make only 80 rings.  Bonus: 213 years ago.

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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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