When Rover Gets Rainbowed

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.

When Rover Gets Rainbowed

October 2, 2018

Looks like someone’s dog rolled around on a sidewalk chalk drawing! Have you ever drawn with sidewalk chalk? It works just like a pencil or crayon: as you rub it against the sidewalk, the chalk breaks down into powder. That’s why the colors can spread to make your picture. But we bet you didn’t know that chalk grows in nature. It’s a type of limestone that forms underground. You can imagine the excitement when the first caveman found a piece of this stuff and started drawing. Chalk in nature is plain old white, but clever humans figured out how to make chalk in all different colors. When it rains, our chalk drawings wash away…and the dog finally gets clean.

Wee ones: If that sidewalk rainbow has red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple stripes, how many colors of chalk is that?

Little kids: If you have 5 fresh new pieces of sidewalk chalk and 7 stubby worn-down pieces, how many more worn-down pieces do you have?  Bonus: If you draw one reeeeeeeally long line down the street starting at 2:00 pm, and the chalk runs out 3 hours later, what time does it run out?

Big kids: If you draw a giant sidewalk-chalk face that’s 7 feet tall, and your own face is 7 inches tall, how many times as tall is the sidewalk face? (Hint if needed: How long is 1 foot?)  Bonus: If you’re 4 feet 8 inches tall, how much taller than you is that face?

The sky’s the limit: If you draw a red stripe, then orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white stripes, then start all over with red to repeat the pattern, what color is the 52nd stripe?










Wee ones: 6 colors.

Little kids: 2 more pieces.  Bonus: At 5:00 pm.

Big kids: 12 times as tall.  Bonus: 2 feet 4 inches.

The sky’s the limit: Yellow. Every 7th stripe is white and ends the set of stripes, including the 49th stripe. So the 52nd stripe is 3 stripes into the next set.

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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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