Today is Friday the 13th! A lot of people think the number 13 is unlucky, so they worry bad things will happen today. Many tall buildings don’t even call their 13th floor “number 13” — they skip from 12 to 14! The funny thing is, there haven’t been any more bad Friday the 13ths in history than any other date. And even if there had been, why should today follow that? On a happier note, a lot of people have a lucky number: maybe their birthday, or the number of letters in their first name. Do you have a lucky number? Let’s check it out!
Wee ones: Think of your lucky number, or just pick a number you like. Try counting up to that number!
Little kids: If your lucky number is 9 but your friend’s lucky number is 6, who has the bigger lucky number? Bonus: How much bigger is that lucky number than the other?
Big kids: If your lucky number is 5, so you clap for good luck 5 times before every soccer game, how many times do you clap in an 8-game season? Bonus: If you also eat Cheerios with 5 on the spoon for every bite, how many bites do you need to eat a bowl of 63 Cheerios — with as few non-lucky bites as possible?
Wee ones: Count 1,2,3…
Little kids: Your lucky number is bigger. Bonus: By 3.
Big kids: 40 claps. Bonus: 13 bites, since 12 5’s will get you only to 60.
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.