Most of us, including the grown-ups, love bath toys. Rubber ducks, boats, and other squirt toys bobbing up and down in the water have to make bath time more fun. But how about 5,000 rubber ducks?! Charlotte Lee seems to like that idea: in 2011 she broke the world record for the biggest collection of rubber ducks, at 5,631. She had been collecting them since 1996, and still holds the record today!
Wee ones: If you have 5 rubber ducks, what numbers would you say to count them?
Little kids: If you have 4 small rubber ducks and 2 big ones, how many rubber ducks do you have? Bonus: If all but 3 of them can squirt, how many squirty ducks do you have?
Big kids: For how many years had Charlotte collected ducks if she started in 1996 and had the record number in 2011? Bonus: How would you try to guess the number of ducks you see in that photo?
Wee ones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Little kids: 6 ducks. Bonus: 3 squirty ducks.
Big kids: 15 years. Bonus: Lots of ways to do this…for instance, you could count out 5 and then see how many times that chunk shows up, then add the ones sitting around the edge. Our best shot at actual counting came to about 114, but see what you get!
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.