The Wild World of Waterslides

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 Wild World of Waterslides

June 25, 2018

One of the best summer treats is the waterslide: a slide with water running down it. The first park waterslide ever, built in 1923, was made of wood. Since then, we’ve gone bigger and better. The longest “homemade” waterslide in the world was built on a cattle ranch in New Zealand. A bunch of guys dug a long, muddy trench into a giant hill, then lined it with plastic. After 2 months of work, in just 2 days some 2,000 brave souls tried it out. But the longest waterslide in the world lives at Mountain Creek Park in New Jersey. The nearly 2,000-foot-long slide blows up like a bouncy house, which takes 2 hours. It then uses 1,000 gallons of water every hour. That will definitely help cool you off!

Wee ones: If you’ve taken 5 rides down the slide, what number is your next ride?

Little kids: If a water park has 3 body waterslides, 2 inner tube slides, and 1 rafting slide, how many waterslides does it have in total?  Bonus: If you wait 20 minutes to ride the slide, then slide down in just 3 minutes, how much time did you take in total?

Big kids: The longest waterslide in use is the 7-story tall Mammoth water coaster in Indiana. If they can safely run 7 4-passenger rafts on the slide at any time, how many people can ride at once?  Bonus: The slide is almost 1,800 feet long. If the 7 rafts are evenly spaced, including one at the start and 1 at the very end, how far apart are they?












Wee ones: Ride #6.

Little kids: 6 slides.  Bonus: 23 minutes.

Big kids: 28 people.  Bonus: 300 feet, since the 7 rafts have just 6 chunks of space between them.

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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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