The Perfect State to Park

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 Perfect State to Park

July 10, 2019

Today Wyoming turns 129! Wyoming became the 44th state on this day in 1890. Only about 600,000 people live in this huge state, fewer than any other state. But more than 4 MILLION people come every year to see Yellowstone National Park and a really crazy thing it has: geysers. Geysers are streams of water that shoot up out of the ground. There are around 500 active geysers in Yellowstone, and the most famous is “Old Faithful.” It got that name because, all day and night, it shoots boiling hot water and steam as high as 185 feet into the air! On average, it blasts every 91 minutes and goes for as long as 5 minutes at a time. In the old days, people tried to use Old Faithful to wash their clothes, but the strong, speedy stream tore everything to shreds. Now we do laundry in a machine, and we visit Old Faithful just to look at it. That’s a lot easier!
 
Wee ones: Old Faithful shoots water very, very high off the ground. Find the thing in your room that is highest off the floor, other than the ceiling!
 
Little kids: If Old Faithful will start spraying 10 seconds from now, what numbers do you say to count down, starting with 10? Bonus: The water sprays up to 185 feet into the air. Is that closer in height to a person or a 10-story building? (Hint: Each story of a building is about 10 to 12 feet high.)
 
Big kids: If an eruption ends at 3:10 pm, at what time will you see the next one if it starts 91 minutes after that? (Reminder: There are 60 minutes in an hour.) Bonus: If people try to wash their laundry at Old Faithful every 3rd day starting on a Monday, how many days later will they wash laundry on a Tuesday?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Answers:
 
Wee ones: Answers might include a lamp on the wall, the top of a bedpost, or the top of a window or door frame.
 
Little kids: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Bonus: The 10-story building.
 
Big kids: 4:41 pm, since the first 60 minutes will bring you to 4:10 pm. Bonus: 15 days later. You need a Tuesday that is a multiple of 3 from Monday; the next day is 1 day, the following Tuesday is 8 days, and the Tuesday after that is finally 15 days (2 weeks 1 day).

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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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