Long before Nintendo Switch, people had Rubik’s Cubes for handheld gaming. It’s a simple puzzle: you spin the pieces around until each side is all its own color. “Speedcubers” can even solve a Rubik’s Cube using 1 hand in less than 7 seconds! But one Rubik’s Cube has gotten completely out of hand. Tony Fisher built this 6-foot 7-inch tall toy using cardboard boxes, a lot of math, and of course, duct tape. We bet it’ll take more than a few seconds to unscramble this preposterous puzzle!
Wee ones: Draw a square, then split it up into 9 smaller shapes! (Bonus: Can you make those smaller shapes squares, too?)
Little kids: If there are 4 blue and 5 green squares on the top of the cube, how many squares is that? Bonus: How many green squares would need to switch to blue for there to be more blue than green squares?
Big kids: How much taller is the 6-foot 7-inch cube than you? Bonus: If 3 of the smaller cubes add up to 6 feet 7 inches, about how tall is each of those cubes?
Wee ones: Draw a square with equal sides, then use lines to split it up! Don’t worry about making them perfectly straight.
Little kids: 9 squares. Bonus: Just 1 square! Subtracting 1 square from the 5 green by making it blue leaves 4 green squares, and then adding that 1 square to the 4 blue makes 5 blue.
Big kids: Different for everyone… use a tape measure to find out your height if you don’t know it, then subtract the feet and inches from 6 feet 7 inches. Bonus: Each cube is about 26 inches, or 2 feet 2 inches, tall. 6 feet 7 inches is equal to 79 inches, because 6 x 12 = 72, and 72 + 7 = 79. You can use long division to find that 79 / 3 = 26 ⅓ inches per cube. Or you can divide the 6 feet by 3, then the 7 inches by 3, and add the dividends: 2 feet + 2 inches, with a remainder of 1.
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.