Did you notice anything about today’s date? If your country lists the date as the number of the month, the number of the day, and then the year, today is 12/13/14. It has 3 consecutive numbers in a row — and it’s the very last day of this whole century that does that! Can you figure out why? It’s not the only date with that pattern, though: last year we had 11/12/13, the year before we had 10/11/12…but we won’t have another date like this for almost 100 years, when we have small numbers again for those last 2 digits showing the year. See if you can figure out how long we’ll have to wait.
Wee ones: If today is December 13, what is tomorrow?
Little kids: If you’re counting up, what 3 numbers come next after 12, 13, 14? Bonus: What date in the year 2008 had 3 consecutive numbers? (Don’t worry about zeroes before single digits – you count the whole 2-digit block as a number.)
Big kids: Which years this century had a date like this? Bonus: When will the next one happen after today? (Again, you can ignore zeroes).
Wee ones: December 14.
Little kids: 15, 16, 17. Bonus: June 7, 2008 (06/07/08).
Big kids: 12 years. They happened in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and today in 2014. Bonus: January 2, 2103 (a new 01/02/03).
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.