The Fairest of Them All

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 Fairest of Them All

August 22, 2019

When Minnesota calls itself The Land of 10,000 Lakes, it’s rounding down the numbers. The state actually has more than 11,000 lakes! But one thing Minnesota brags about is its state fair, which is happening right now. Last year 2 million people came to this big party, more than 1/3 of all the people in the state. The fair has famous musicians, animal contests, and of course, lots of tasty food on sticks. Speaking of which, Minnesotans are also proud to be the birthplace of Frank Mars, inventor of the Snickers, Milky Way and 3 Musketeers bars. Then his son brought us M&Ms. We can see why Minnesotans seem so sweet.
 
Wee ones: Chocolate bars are brown on the outside. Find 3 brown things in the room, and if they’re small enough, put them in a row from smallest to biggest.
 
Little kids: If you have 2 of each of those candy bars (Snickers, Milky Way and 3 Musketeers), how many candy bars do you have in total? Bonus: The state fair runs for 12 days. If you have 2 weeks to visit Minnesota, do you have enough time for the whole fair?
 
Big kids: The Milky Way was invented in 1923. How many years from now will it have its 100th birthday? Bonus: If you’re trading M&Ms for Snickers, and 6 M&Ms are equal to 1 mini-Snickers, and 4 mini-snickers are equal to 1 full-size Snickers, what’s a fair number of M&Ms for a full-size Snickers?
 
The sky’s the limit: If you wanted to swim in 10,000 of Minnesota’s lakes, and can travel to 5 lakes per day for the 100 warm-enough days each year, how many years will it take you to swim in those 10,000 lakes?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: Items might include shoes, socks, pants, wooden blocks…and maybe even some chocolate!
 
Little kids: 6 candy bars. Bonus: Yes! 2 weeks is 14 days, because 7 + 7 = 14, and that’s more than 12.
 
Big kids: 4 years from now, in 2023. Bonus: 24 M&Ms, because 6 x 4 = 24.
 
The sky’s the limit: 20 years. You can visit 500 lakes per year. 2 years gets you to 1,000 lakes, so you need 10 sets of those 2-year pairs to reach 10,000.

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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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