We’re loving this crazy sport called Bubble Soccer, shared by our fan Monica L. You have to watch the video to believe it: the players each wear a giant clear plastic bubble around themselves while kicking a ball. Since the bubbles are much bigger than the people, players crash into each other while running for the ball. No one gets hurt because when a player falls, he or she just bounces like a ball. You can buy or rent the bubbles online and at sports stores, so if you like playing soccer and knocking people over, this might be the sport for you.
Wee ones: A bubble is a sphere, or ball shape. See if you can spot 3 spheres in your room.
Little kids: If a bubble team has 10 players plus a goalie, like a real soccer team, how many players are on each team? Bonus: If 3 of those players are knocked down, how many are still standing?
Big kids: If a player crashes into another player every 3rd time he kicks the ball (starting with the 3rd), on which kick does he fall for the 7th time? Bonus: Will he fall on the 52nd kick?
Wee ones: Items might include bouncy balls, balls from sports, or a ball of yarn.
Little kids: 11 players. Bonus: 8 players.
Big kids: On his 21st kick. Bonus: No, since 52 is not a multiple of 3. Quick trick to check: if the digits of a number add up to a multiple of 3, the number you started with is a multiple of 3, too. 5+2 = 7, which isn’t a multiple of 3, so 52 isn’t, either.
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.