Speed Stackers

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.

Speed Stackers

August 12, 2018

As you learn to do new things, sometimes you find out you’re really fast at them. You might be a fast jungle-gym-climber, or Lego-snap-togetherer, or ice-cream-eater. Well, one fun thing people do really fast is cup-stacking. They race to stack regular old plastic cups into pyramids, without knocking anything over. So of course, now people race at this against each other. In official speed-stacking, players are given 12 cups. First you build a big 6-cup pyramid with 2 little 3-cup triangles on either side. Then you shove all the cups back together, then take them apart to build two 6s. Then you build a 10-cup pyramid, and finally you put the cups back in their starting spots. Watch this kid’s awesome video and try for yourself…you might find out you’re a speed stacker, too!

Wee ones: If you stack a 6-cup pyramid and your friend stacks a 3-cup one, who stacked more cups?

Little kids: If you’ve stacked your 6-cup pyramid and first 3-cup pyramid, how many cups have you stacked?  Bonus: If the winner stacks in 12 seconds, your friend stacks in 16 seconds, and your time is exactly halfway between, how fast do you stack?

Big kids: If you stack 6 cups, then 3 cups, then 10, then 6 again and 3 again to start over…what size pyramid do you stack on the 19th time? See if you can get it without counting all the way up! Bonus: If you stack a 6-cup and 2 3-cups, then 2 6-cups, and then a 10-cup, and you take 1/2 second to place each cup, how fast do you stack all that?











Wee ones: You stacked more cups.

Little kids: 9 cups.  Bonus: 14 seconds.

Big kids: 6 cups, because it’s at the start of a new set of 3 moves.  Bonus: 17 seconds, since you placed 34 cups.

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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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