Tonight we end “daylight savings,” and turn the hands of our clocks back 1 hour. Why? In a way, we’re making the sun get up earlier for us, since it’s rising later each day. Wherever the sun is at 7 am, we’re now calling that 6:00 instead, so we can wake up in sunshine. Best of all, since you’ll repeat 1 hour of tonight, you’ll live a 25-hour day — and get an extra hour of sleep.
Wee ones: Which sunset time is earlier, 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm?
Little kids: If right now the clock says 5 pm, what time will it say exactly 24 hours from now after the clocks fall back tonight? Bonus: If people grill twice a week if it’s still sunny at dinnertime, how many more nights do they get to grill over 4 extra weeks of Daylight Savings?
Big kids: When the clocks “fall back” we get an extra hour of sleep. If the clock says 8 pm when you go to bed and 6 am when you wake up, but the clocks fell back 1 hour at 2 am, how long did you sleep, and why? Bonus: If on Halloween you started trick-or-treating at 4:30 until the sun set at 6:20, how long did you get to trick-or-treat in daylight?
Wee ones: 7:00 pm.
Little kids: 4 pm. Bonus: 8 more times.
Big kids: You slept 11 hours, not 10, because the 8 pm was really 7 pm on “real” time. Bonus: 1 hour 50 minutes.
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.