Today is Earth Day, when we celebrate our home planet. One way we can take care of Earth is by piling up less trash. And one way to pile up less trash is to recycle. But can you recycle an old, broken toy? Yes – or at least, someone can! This New Jersey company will take your toys that don’t work any more (and other stuff, too) and break down the plastic into tiny pellets. Then those pellets can be made into pretty much any shape – like a watering can, a pen, or even a playground like the one in the photo! So if you’re sad about a toy you love that isn’t working any more, check out TerraCycle – your toy can have a whole new second life.
Wee ones: Do you see more white or blue balloons floating above the playground in the picture?
Little kids: If a slide is 5 feet tall and the playground is 3 feet taller than that, how tall is the playground? Bonus: If you had a toy for 4 years before it broke, and then it sat around for twice as many years before you sent in the toy to be recycled into a slide, for how many years did you have it at home?
Big kids: If it takes 3 remote-control cars to make 1 pound of plastic pellets and 5 pounds can make 1 monkey bar, how many toy carsdo you need for that monkey bar? Bonus: If a playground has 4 blue steps, then 1 red step, then 3 green steps, and all those steps are the same height and add up to a height of 5 feet 4 inches, how tall is each step? (Reminder if needed:1 foot = 12 inches.)
Wee ones: We see 4 blue balloons, and 3 white balloons, so more blue than white!
Little kids: 8 feet tall. Bonus: 12 years, because you played with it for 4 years, then had it sitting for 4 + 4 = 8 years. 4 + 8 = 12.
Big kids: 15 cars, because 3 x 5 = 15. Bonus: Each step is 8 inches tall.
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.