In the movie Toy Story, battery-run astronaut Buzz Lightyear thinks he can actually fly – and when he does try to fly, he yells, “To infinity and beyond!” So what is infinity, exactly? In math, infinity means that numbers just keep on going: no matter how big a number you can think of, you can always add one and just make a bigger number. We’re sorry, Buzz, but there’s no way to go beyond infinity. But as we look at some other milestone numbers, we’ll see that even non-infinite numbers can be pretty big and pretty cool.
Wee ones: What is the biggest number you can count to on your fingers and toes all together?
Little kids: What is the largest two-digit number? Bonus: What is the largest three-digit number?
Big kids: While you may know “Google” as a search engine, there is actually a very large number called a “googol” that is a 1 followed by 100 zeroes! How many more zeroes does this number have than in a thousand? Bonus: How many more zeroes does this number have than in a million?
Wee ones: Count your fingers and toes!
Little kids: 99. Bonus: 999.
Big kids: 97 zeroes. Bonus: 94 zeroes.