# The Race Against Your Toenails

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.

# The Race Against Your Toenails

March 10, 2018

Why do we have to keep getting haircuts? Can’t we make our hair stop growing? Well, we can’t: our hair and nails grow every minute of our lives — not fast enough to see them moving, but fast enough that if we let them go, we’ll end up like shaggy cavemen with claws. So our fan Jay A. asked us, which grows faster, our hair or our nails? Hair grows about 1/2 inch each month, but it’s a little different for everyone. If you measure your hair today and wait a couple of months for a haircut, you can find out your own hair speed! Meanwhile, fingernails grow about 1/8 of an inch each month. The longer the finger bone, the faster that nail grows, so your pinky fingernail grows the most slowly. Finally, your toenails grow only 1/4 as fast as your fingernails — good thing, because they’re harder to reach!

Wee ones: If you’ve clipped 7 of your fingernails so far, what number nail comes next?

Little kids: If you always want your hair to be between 9 and 14 inches long, is 17-inch hair okay? Bonus: If you just got a haircut in February and you want to grow out your hair for 5 months, when will you get your next haircut?

Big kids: If your hair grows 1/2 inch each month, how much should it grow in 1 year? (Reminder if needed: A year has 12 months.)  Bonus: If your hair is 10 inches long and you think it would look awesome if it were 24 inches long, how many years and months do you need to let it grow?

The sky’s the limit: If your hair grows 1/2 inch each month, your fingernails grow just 1/8 of an inch, and your toenails grow 1/4 as fast as your fingernails, how many times as fast as your toenails does your hair grow?