This Lego isn’t just fun to play with: you can also eat it, because it’s chocolate! Just as you can mash Play-Doh into a “mold” — an empty container that gives the clay a certain shape — Akihiro Mizuuchi has made a Lego-shaped mold for chocolate. He pours melted chocolate into it, and it hardens into tasty snap-together bricks. The dark, milk and white chocolate all make different colors, plus you can dye white chocolate other shades. Other people have tried molding chocolate Lego before, but this mold really rocks because it makes the little word “LEGO” on each knob, just like real Lego bricks. Also, these bricks are hollow at the bottom, so they snap together well — if they haven’t already melted in your hands.
Wee ones: How many colors of chocolate Lego can you count in the top picture?
Little kids: If you take a layer of chocolate Legos, then snap a layer of real Legos on top, then a layer of chocolate Lego, then real ones…can you eat the 9th layer? Bonus: If you start with 4 layers of chocolate, THEN stack 1 real Lego layer and alternate, can you eat this 9th layer?
Big kids: If Akihiro has to melt a chocolate bar to make 4 Lego bricks, how many bars does he need to make 16 bricks? Bonus: If he’s building a chocolate castle that is 5 bricks wide across the front and back and 6 bricks across the left wall and right wall, and he builds 10 layers and then tops it with a 100-brick roof, how many chocolate Legos does he need to make for it?
The sky’s the limit: If Akihiro wants a giant Lego brick whose length can be divided by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, what’s the *smallest* number of bumps long that it can be?
Wee ones: 4 colors.
Little kids: Yes, because all odd-numbered layers will be chocolate. Bonus: Not this time, since the 5th layer is now real Lego along with the odd layers that follow.
Big kids: 4 chocolate bars. Bonus: 320 Legos: 50 for the front wall, 50 more for the back, 60 each for the left and right walls, and 100 on top.
The sky’s the limit: 60 bumps long. You don’t need to multiply out the big number 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6, because you don’t need so many factors. Once a number is divisible by 2 and 3, it’s automatically divisible by 6. And once it’s divisible by 4, you don’t need to multiply again by 2 to be divisible by 2 or 6. All you need is 2 x 2 x 3 x 5.
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.