Normally you don’t catch a tennis ball – you whack it with a racket. And if you did try to catch a tennis ball, you’d use your hands, not a bucket. And even if you did use a bucket, you wouldn’t hold it on your head. That’s no way to win a silly world record! But this guy caught 98 tennis balls in the big plastic bucket on his head in just 1 minute. Turns out being a buckethead isn’t always a bad thing.
Wee ones: Can you count more than 5 tennis balls in the picture?
Little kids: If you catch 3 balls in your hands, 2 in the bucket and 1 in your mouth, how many balls do you catch in total? Bonus: As he caught the last of the 98 balls, what were the last 5 numbers he counted?
Big kids: The tennis ball tosser had to throw 123 balls for the buckethead to catch 98. How many balls were thrown but missed? Bonus: If 2 more balls had been thrown and they were caught, what fraction of the balls would have been caught?
Wee ones: We bet you can! Count them up as you point.
Little kids: 6 balls. Bonus: 94, 95, 96, 97, 98.
Big kids: 25 balls. You can count up 2 from 98 to 100, then it’s 23 more from 100 to 123; 2 + 23 = 25. Bonus: 4/5. 2 more balls thrown and caught makes 98 + 2 = 100 caught, out of 123 + 2 = 125 thrown.100/125 = 4/5.
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.