Bed is a quiet place to sleep – but this one is more like a treehouse, ball ramp and jungle gym combined. Eric Strong’s son didn’t want to move from his toddler crib into a big-boy bed, so Eric built the most awesome kid bed ever. Eric started with a loft bed, then added 3 cubbies and a slide onto the end. The bookcase swings open to a secret compartment, and a ball ramp drops golf balls into a bucket, which the kid can haul back up to the top using a rope. It’s awesome, but we wonder if he ever sleeps!
Wee ones: If the boy was 3 years old when the project started but has had a birthday since then, how old is he now?
Little kids: The ball ramp tilts and dumps out the balls when all 6 have landed in there. If right now it’s holding 4, how many more balls are needed to tilt it? Bonus: If instead there’s an odd number of balls in there, what numbers could that be, if there are 6 at most?
Big kids: If the dad put together 20 pieces to make the bed, 4 for the slide, and 15 for the secret compartment door, how many more pieces would have brought the total to 40? Bonus: If the boy can climb up and slide down the slide in just 20 seconds, how many times can he slide before bedtime 3 minutes from now? (Reminder: A minute has 60 seconds.)
Wee ones: 4 years old.
Little kids: 2 more balls. Bonus: 1, 3 or 5 balls.
Big kids: 1 more piece, since there were 39. Bonus: 9 times, since he can fit in 3 rides per minute.
And thank you to Bedtime Math fan Cindy B. for sharing this story!
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.