When you save pennies, the money can add up fast. So our fan Rayhaan asked, how many pennies can fit in the biggest piggybank? For one thing, the biggest piggy bank ever was HUGE: built in 2015, it stood 26 feet long, 18 feet tall, and 18 feet wide! Inside it had 2 floors so kids could climb around. If it had been empty, though, this round pig would have held about 4,400 cubic feet. Imagine a cube 1 foot wide in each direction, and imagine more than 4,000 of those…then imagine filling each of those with pennies. 1 cubic foot holds almost 50,000 pennies, so that big pig would hold more than 200 million pennies! The question is, how much money is that – and can anyone carry it?
Wee ones: Find a penny and another coin, like a dime, nickel or quarter. What is the same about the two coins? What is different?
Little kids: If you have 6 pennies, what numbers do you say to count them? Bonus: A dime is worth 10 pennies. If you start with 6 pennies, how many more do you need to make 10?
Big kids: A cubic foot of pennies weighs 307 pounds! How much more than you does that weigh? Bonus: How much money is 200 million pennies in dollars? (Reminder if needed: A dollar equals 100 pennies.)
Wee ones: The coins are all circles. They are different sizes, though, and the other coins are silver in color, not copper.
Little kids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Bonus: 4 more pennies.
Big kids: Different for everyone…subtract your weight in pounds from 307. Bonus: $2 million!
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.