Of all the weird records a person could set, one we hadn’t thought of is socks. Kamil Kulik of Poland holds the world record for wearing the most socks on one foot all at once. He managed to stretch 184 socks over each other. This took some planning: he needed to find the thinnest socks possible, and as the socks piled up, the later socks needed to be bigger to fit over all the layers underneath. Now the question is, what size shoe did Kamil wear after that?
Wee ones: If you and a friend put a sock on each foot, how many socks do you put on all together? Try it with a grown-up!
Little kids: If Kamil normally wore a size 8 shoe, and the first 10 socks made his foot 2 shoe sizes bigger, what new size would he have needed? Bonus: If you wanted to count those socks backwards starting from 10, what numbers would you say?
Big kids: If Kamil was able to pull on 5 socks every minute, how many could he pull on in the first 9 minutes? Bonus: If Kamil had put 184 socks on each foot, how many would he have worn on both feet together?
Wee ones: 4 socks (2 per person).
Little kids: Size 10. Bonus: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Big kids: 45 socks. Bonus: 368 socks.
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.