A rubber ducky is a great toy for bathtime — unless the duck is bigger than your whole house! What you see there is the world’s largest rubber ducky. It was built by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, who must have really loved his rubber ducky as a kid. He has made a whole bunch of giant ducks to float down the river in big cities. Each duck has more than 200 pieces of PVC (a type of plastic), which people sewed together. A fan inside fills the duck with air to poof it out. Even so, the ducks weigh more than 2,000 pounds, and the biggest one stands more than 100 feet tall. If they could make noise, that would be one loud quack.
Wee ones: A rubber ducky for your tub might be about the size of your fist (your closed hand). Find 2 things in your room that are about that size.
Little kids: If the giant duck quacks, then splashes, then wiggles, then quacks, then splashes…what does it do next? Bonus: If one of these giant ducks shows up in Pittsburgh on a Sunday and floats away 4 days later, on what day does it leave?
Big kids: The second-tallest duck is 59 feet tall. How much taller is the 100-foot duck? Bonus: A 2-story house is about 30 feet tall. How many of those would you have to stack to stand taller than the 100-foot duck?
Wee ones: Answers might include a ball, a small stuffed animal, or a container of Playdoh.
Little kids: Wiggles. Bonus: On Thursday.
Big kids: 41 feet taller. Bonus: 4 houses, since 3 houses would reach only 90 feet total.
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.