Fluffy waffles taste great in any shape: a square, a circle, a rectangle, or really any shape that has those square holes to catch the syrup. Well, the best shape of all may be a waffle shaped like your computer. Someone invented a waffle iron that stamps out waffles with little pockets shaped just like the keys on a keyboard: 4 rows of squares for the letters and numbers, rectangles for Backspace and Enter, and a really long skinny pocket for the space bar. Computer keys are squares and rectangles, so it works out perfectly!
Wee ones: How many sides does a square have?
Little kids: If there are 3 big keys at the left end, 4 on the right end, and the big space bar along the bottom, how many big syrup-y keys are there? Bonus: If you drizzle syrup on every other key in the top row starting with the 1st key, how many of those 14 keys will catch syrup?
Big kids: If the 4 rows of keys have 12, 11, 11 and 10 square keys respectively, how many keys does that give you? Bonus: If those cover the 26 letter keys and 10 digit keys (1, 2, 3, etc.), how many other keys does the board have?
The sky’s the limit: The inventors needed $50,000 to build a factory to make these waffle irons. If they spent the first $8,000 to build the factory machines, and it then costs $200 to make each waffle iron, how many irons can they make with the money raised?
Wee ones: 4 sides.
Little kids: 8 keys. Bonus: 7 keys.
Big kids: 44 keys. Bonus: 8 keys, since 36 are covered by letters and numbers.
The sky’s the limit: They’ll have $42,000 left to make the irons, so they can make 210 irons.
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.