Hang Out Inside My Piano!

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.

Hang Out Inside My Piano!

September 17, 2017

What shape is your house? Is the front a rectangle, maybe with some triangle shapes?  How cool would it be if it looked like a piano, like this crazy building here? It even has a huge violin leaning on it. It was built at the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall in Huainan City, China. The piano has windows all the way around in that middle stripe. Inside the violin part is the staircase you take to get up inside the piano. The tiny-looking people in the photo show how giant the building really is. You can’t play this piano, but college students do hold concerts there — so they get to play piano inside a piano.

Wee ones: What shapes are the windows going around the piano?

Little kids: The violin has 4 long bars that look like violin strings. If you pluck the first and last to play them, how many strings are left in between?  Bonus: If the 4 violin strings are spaced 2 feet apart, how far is the 4th string from the 1st? Think carefully!

Big kids: If a regular piano is 5 feet wide, and this one is 14 times as wide, how wide is this piano? (Hint if needed: What if it were 10 times as wide…and then how many more pianos do you need to add on?)  Bonus: The bottom of the piano is about twice the height of a person, then the piano is about 3 people’s height, then the lid adds another 3 people’s height. If a person is 6 feet tall, how high off the ground is the very top?

The sky’s the limit: If the violin part of the building is 60 times as tall as a real violin and 700 inches taller than 10 violins stacked end to end, how tall are a real violin and this violin building?




Wee ones: Rectangles.

Little kids: 2 strings.  Bonus: 6 feet, since the 4 strings have only 3 gaps between them.

Big kids: 70 feet.  Bonus: 48 feet, since it’s 8 people’s height.

The sky’s the limit: 14 inches for a violin, 70 feet (840 inches) for the building. If 700 is the difference between 10 violins and the building, which is 60 violins tall, then that 700 equals the height of 50 violins. Dividing, we get 14 inches for a violin, and 60 times that (840 inches) for the building.

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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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