The Best Day for Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is that packing material with rows and rows of little air-filled bumps. The bubbles are lined up in a hexagon pattern, each bubble surrounded by 6 more, like a bee’s honeycomb. When you pinch a bubble, it makes a perfect popping sound…so you can’t help but pop the bubble next to it, and the next. Kids love it, grown-ups love it…even guinea pigs want to try it. So it’s no surprise that there’s a Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day every January!

Wee ones: A bubble-wrap bubble is about the size of your fingertip. See if you can spot 3 things that size in your room.

Little kids: If Snickers the guinea pig (shown here) pops bubbles 1, 2 and 3, what numbers are the next 4 bubbles she pops?  Bonus: If a row has 16 bubbles and you pop 1, how many bubbles are left to pop?

Big kids: If a piece of bubble wrap has a row of 5 bubbles, then 6 bubbles, then 5, then 6, and you pop half of them, how many bubbles are left for Snickers to pop?  Bonus: If on a 20-row sheet, half the rows have 11 bubbles each and half the rows have 10 each, how many bubbles do you have? See if you can find a shortcut to add it up!

Wee ones: Items might include a marble, a small Lego piece, or a stuffed animal’s cute eye.

Little kids: 4, 5, 6 and 7.  Bonus: 15 bubbles.

Big kids: 11 bubbles, no matter which ones you pop.  Bonus: 210 bubbles. Each pair of rows adds up to 21, and 20 rows will neatly have 10 of those pairs.