Yes, we know it isn’t a good idea to eat tons of candy. But we do have a new reason to eat it: you can recycle the wrappers by wearing them! This high school girl made her prom gown top out of 18,000 Starburst candy wrappers. It fits her perfectly, too. Next time you eat candy, you can try this for your own clothes — but you might wear your outfit before you finish eating all the candy.
Wee ones: A Starburst wrapper is a square. How many sides does a square have?
Little kids: If you eat 4 strawberry Starburst, 1 orange Starburst and 2 lemon Starburst, how many wrappers do you have? Bonus: Not that this would feel good to wear, but if you make matching underwear out of 5,000 wrappers, how do you count out the wrappers in 1,000s?
Big kids: If you make candy-wrapper underwear by adding a yellow wrapper, then red, then orange, then green, then yellow again to repeat, what color is the 20th wrapper? Bonus: How about the 81st wrapper? See if you can figure it out without counting all the way up!
The sky’s the limit: A bag of Starburst holds 12 candies. How many bags did she need to open up to get 18,000 wrappers? (Hint if needed: How many bags would she need to get 18 candies? Then how about 180 candies? Then how about 1,800 candies…)
Wee ones: 4 sides.
Little kids: 7 wrappers. Bonus: 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000.
Big kids: Green, like all multiples of 4. Bonus: Yellow, since 80 finishes another set of wrappers.
The sky’s the limit: 1,500 bags.
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.