How many presidents can come from 1 state? Well, right now, the answer is 8 presidents, and those 8 were born in Virginia! The next closest state is Ohio, with 7 presidents. Another great math fact about this state is that 1/2 the people in America live within 500 miles of its capital, Richmond. On a much smaller scale, it’s home to the skinniest home in America. The “Hollensbury Spite House” is only 7 feet wideand 25 feet long. It was originally built almost 200 years ago to close off an alley, to keep out noisy pedestrians and wagons that kept bumping into the houses along either side. But people still live in it today!
Wee ones: 4 presidents came from Massachusetts and 2 from Vermont. Which state has had more presidents?
Little kids: How many more presidents would have to come from Virginia to bring its total to 10? Bonus: How wide is 7 feet? Lie down with your arms stretched over your head. Then ask a grown-up to measure your length. Is it more or less than 7 feet?
Big kids: You can fit only 12 people on each of the 2 floors of the Hollensbury Spite House. But if you use the patio too, 30 people total can hang out at the house. How many people fit on the patio? Bonus: If the house is 7 feet wide and 25 feet long, how many square feet does 1 floor of the house have?
Wee ones: Massachusetts, because 4 is more than 2.
Little kids: 2 more presidents, because 8 + 2 = 10. Bonus: Different for everyone, but we bet you’re not quite 7 feet long when you stretch out like that!
Big kids: 6 people on the patio. A total of 24 people fit inside the house, and 30 – 24 = 6. Bonus: 175 square feet, because 25 x 7 = 175, or 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 = 175.
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.