A Triple Bottle-Flip

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.

A Triple Bottle-Flip

October 5, 2016

People always tell us not to play with our food. But does that include drinks? Ever since this summer, lots of kids and grown-ups have gotten into bottle-flipping: tossing a spinning bottle of water into the air so it lands standing up. It’s really hard to do, because the bottle has “momentum” and wants to keep moving after it touches the table. So people have to practice over and over to land that bottle perfectly. Well, our fans Matthew, Sean and Ryan D. took it to a new level: they sent this quick video of all 3 brothers flipping bottles, and all 3 bottles land! If you can, find a bottle and see if you can master this trick, too.

Wee ones: When you look at the bottom of a bottle from below, what shape do you see?

Little kids: If Sean flips the 1st bottle of water, then drinks the 2nd, then flips the 3rd, then drinks the 4th … what will he do to the 8th bottle?  Bonus: How many bottles has he flipped by then?

Big kids: If Ryan lands the bottle successfully on every 5th flip (starting with the 5th) and Matthew lands it on every 3rd flip (starting with the 3rd), on what flip will they both land their bottles at the same time?  Bonus: After 30 flips, how many more bottles will Matthew have landed than Ryan?




Wee ones: A circle.

Little kids: Drink it.  Bonus: 4 bottles.

Big kids: On the 15th flip.  Bonus: 4 more bottles, since Matthew will have landed 10 and Ryan will have landed 6.

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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 while still in diapers, 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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