If you love Lego, you’ve probably built some of their sets by following their instructions. Maybe you’ve also used the pieces to invent your own crazy cars, castles, and animals. Someone else might want to build your idea, too! So Lego has a webpage where anyone like you can share what new sets they think Lego should sell. You build a new cool invention, take a picture, write down what pieces you needed, and then send it to them. Then you try to get people to vote for your idea. If you get 10,000 votes or more, the Lego folks will look at your idea and might choose it as a new Lego set! Send in your pink and silver spaceship, checkerboard ice fort, or 2-foot-tall giraffe, and maybe other kids will love it, too.
Wee ones: If you’ve thought up a new spaceship, ice fort, stripey giraffe and robotic bird, how many new Lego set ideas do you have?
Little kids: If your crazy new Lego giraffe uses 6 colors, but Lego thinks it needs some orange and blue, how many colors does it use now, if orange and blue weren’t already in? Bonus: If the giraffe’s neck uses 2 blocks of each color, how many blocks does it use?
Big kids: If your new ice fort is a checkerboard of 60 white blocks and the same number of blue blocks, how many blocks does it use? Bonus: If Lego wants the set to have exactly 180 blocks, and you make all those new blocks white, how many times as much white as blue does it have now?
The sky’s the limit: If your spaceship needs wing pieces, twice as many engine pieces as wing pieces, and 52 regular blocks, and they want the whole set to have 76 pieces, how many wings and engines will it have?
Wee ones: 4 ideas for sets.
Little kids: 8 colors. Bonus: 16 blocks.
Big kids: 120 blocks. Bonus: Twice as much white as blue, since it now has 120 whites and 60 blues.
The sky’s the limit: The wings and engines will together have 24 pieces, since it’s 76-52=24. Each wing has 2 engine pieces to itself, so they come in sets of 3. 24 pieces will have 8 sets like that. So there will be 8 wing pieces and 16 engine pieces.
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.