It’s Raining Teddy Bears

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.

It’s Raining Teddy Bears

December 13, 2015

If you love teddy bears, you’d probably love diving into a giant pile of them. Now how about 28,000 of them? You could have had your chance last week, at the “Teddy Bear Toss” at the Calgary Hitmen’s hockey game. Fans brought every size and color of fluffy, fuzzy teddy bears to give away to kids who don’t have their own. But everyone got to throw the bears onto the ice — all at the same time. So 28,815 teddy bears came sailing through the air at once! The furry friends were then collected and given to 50 different Canadian groups that help poor kids. The Hitmen hold the Teddy Bear Toss every year, and this year’s total set a new record…in fact, there were more bears than people in the building!

Wee ones: If you and your friend each bring a teddy bear to the hockey game, how many “fans” (people and bears) is that in total?

Little kids: Who has more legs, you and a stuffed-animal ladybug, or 2 teddy bears? (Hint if needed: All insects, including ladybugs, have 6 legs.)  Bonus: If you slid across the ice and caught 4 bears with your left leg, 3 with your right arm and 5 with your left arm, how many do you catch in total?

Big kids: If there were about 18,000 bears one year, then 20,000 bears the next year, then 23,000, then 27,000…if we kept that pattern, what number should they have gotten the following year?  Bonus: There were about 9,000 more bears than people at the game! About how many bear-throwers were there?

The sky’s the limit: How many ears do those 28,815 bears have? (Hint if needed: You can break that number into pieces, double each piece, and add them all together to get the same answer…)




Wee ones: 4 fans.

Little kids: The same: each group has 8 legs!  Bonus: 12 bears.

Big kids: 32,000, since then we’ve added 2,000, +3,000, + 4,000, and finally +5,000.  Bonus: 19,815 people (the real number was 19,289).

The sky’s the limit: 57,630 ears.

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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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