# Weaving around the Sun

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.

# Weaving around the Sun

July 8, 2016

People have been weaving thread into cloth for as long as 7,000 years. But a few years ago the Rainbow Loom came along, giving kids a way to weave rubber bands. You loop the colorful rings onto rows of pegs in a pattern, then peel them off in order. Off pops a linked bracelet, a flower ring, even the side of a pocketbook. It takes lots of little rubber bands just to make a chain around your wrist. So Addie W. asked us, how many Rainbow Loom bands would it take to wrap around the sun? Well, the Sun is about 865,000 miles wide – over 100 times as wide as Earth! Then we multiply by the magic number pi (3.14) to get the distance around it, which comes to over 2 million miles (2,717,000). That’s 172,100,000,000 inches. If we stretch the little rubber bands to exactly 1/2 inch to make it easy, we need 2 for every inch, or more than 344 billion rubber bands. You’ll need a galaxy-sized loom to weave those!

Wee ones: If your chain has 6 rubber bands and you loop on 1 more, how many bands do you have now?

Little kids: If you loop a blue band 1st, then a green one, then blue again to keep going, how many bands of each color do you use in a chain of 9?  Bonus: If the 1st band zigzags down, and the next zigzags up, and so on, which direction does the 7th band go?

Big kids: If you make a bracelet where every 4th rubber band is yellow and every 6th band is purple, what’s the 1st band where you have to choose between the two?  Bonus: How many times do you have to make this choice for a 40-band chain?

The sky’s the limit: If you set up your loom with 3 rows of 6 pegs each, and you loop 1 rubber band around every pair of pegs right next to each other going straight up-down or left-right, how many rubber bands can you fit on the loom?