A great way to cool off in the summer is to have a water balloon fight. Filling water balloons takes so long, though! The faucet just doesn’t run fast enough, and meanwhile your friends are pegging you with water balloons. Well, a clever dad in super-hot Texas solved that problem. Josh Malone invented Bunch o Balloons, a plastic doodad with 37 little hoses hanging off it, each with a ready and waiting balloon at the end. You screw the piece onto the end of a garden hose and whoosh, in 20 seconds you have 37 full water balloons. When you pull them off, they close without needing a knot, and you’re ready to fire back at your friends.
Wee ones: Plug a sink, turn on the water, count to 10 and then turn it off. Is the sink more or less than halfway full?
Little kids: If you’re counting off the 20 seconds to fill your 37 water balloons, what numbers do you say? See how high you can go! Bonus: If you fill the 37 green balloons on Bunch o Balloons plus your own yellow balloon, how many balloons do you have?
Big kids: The dad who invented this thing has 8 kids. If he fills 37 balloons and hands them out as equally as he can to them, what’s the biggest number of balloons any kid can get? Bonus: If he wants every kid to have at least 10 balloons, how many batches of 37 does he need to fill?
Wee ones: Everyone’s sink will be different — but stop running the water early if you’re going to overflow!
Little kids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20! Bonus: 38 balloons.
Big kids: 5 balloons. The first 32 will go evenly, with 4 for each kid. Then a few kids will get a 5th balloon. Bonus: 3 batches. For the 8 kids to have 10 balloons each, he needs at least 80 balloons…and 2 batches, or 74 balloons, won’t be enough.
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.