Dogs don’t quite play tennis like people do. They’re good at chasing the ball, sure, but then they’d rather chew on it than do anything else. That pup in the picture only has one ball, but another just might be the world’s best player at doggie tennis. Finley is a pooch who can hold 6 tennis balls in his mouth at once! That’s a world record. It’s pretty impressive – tennis balls are nearly 3 inches wide, so for people, even 1 would be a squeeze! Now Finley’s working on 7.
Wee ones: Can you count up the world-record tennis balls? Count out loud to 6.
Little kids: The 6th ball is the toughest to grab! If Finley gets the first 5 balls in just 2 minutes, but then it takes him 5 minutes to grab the last ball, how long does it take him in total? Bonus: If 2 human tennis players bring 10 balls to the court, but Finley sneaks away 6 of those, how many are left for the humans?
Big kids: If you line up those 6 3-inch tennis balls in a straight line, how long a line would that be in inches? Bonus: How many of those tennis balls would it take to make a 100-foot long line?
Big kids: 18 inches. Bonus: 400 tennis balls. We can fit 4 of these 3-inch balls in one 12-inch foot, because 3 x 4 = 12. So 100 feet with 4 tennis balls per foot = 100 x 4 = 400.
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.