National Waffle Iron Day

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.

National Waffle Iron Day

June 29, 2019

Yes, here in America we celebrate just about anything, and today we celebrate the waffle iron. We make yummy waffles by mixing flour, eggs, sugar, and milk. We pour that batter onto a hot, flat pan covered with square bumps, and close another hot flat, square-bumped pan on top of it. The two hot iron pieces squeeze that waffle to cook it. The square bumps give the waffle little square holes, perfect for holding syrup and melted butter. Of course, waffles and their holes don’t have to be squares; our all-time favorites are these furniture-shaped waffles shown here. But they all taste great with syrup.

Wee ones: How many separate little furniture waffles can you count in the picture? (Hint: Look at the waffle iron to see which shapes are separate.)

Little kids: Waffles are fluffier than pancakes partly because they use more eggs. If pancake batter uses 3 eggs and your waffle recipe uses 2 more than that, how many eggs do your waffles need?  Bonus: If you fill 1 waffle hole with syrup, the next with butter, the next with a chocolate chip, then repeat with syrup and so on, what topping does the 12th waffle hole get?

Big kids: If your waffle has 6 rows of 6 square holes each, how many square holes does it have?  Bonus: If you dribble syrup into 1/3 of those squares, how many squares get syrup?

The sky’s the limit: Suppose you have 3 waffle irons that make square waffles: one makes 4x4s, one makes 5x5s, and one makes 6x6s. If you grab a stack of waffles that have 86 holes in total, how many waffles do you have and what sizes are they?




Wee ones: 5 furniture waffles.

Little kids: 5 eggs.  Bonus: A chocolate chip, since all multiples of 3 will get one.

Big kids: 36 holes.  Bonus: 12 square holes.

The sky’s the limit: 3 waffles: two 5x5s (25 holes each) and one 6×6 (36 holes). For starters, the total is even, so there has to be an even number of 5x5s. The remaining 36 holes can’t be done with 4x4s (16 holes each), so you need one 6×6.

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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 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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