Today From Bedtime Math: LEGO You Can Wear

Check out a LEGO fashion accessory that your kids can really build on, in this snack-sized story from Bedtime Math!
By Laura Overdeck
Jun 02, 2015



Jun 02, 2015

If you and your kids have ever played with LEGO, you know you can stack those blocks into all kinds of wild castles and tree houses, cars and rockets. But people like to make real-life shapes out of LEGO, too. In fact, a company has invented a purse made of Agabag blocks. A husband and wife in Poland, the Biernackis, drill tiny holes in real these blocks, then string them together tightly on string-like beads. They then take that "bag" and line the inside of it with soft cloth. Finally, for the latch they snap on thin blocks that are coated in real gold! The purse sells for $300…if you get one, you can snap your own blocks of any color onto it so it matches any outfit you wear.

Now see if you can come up with these math problems inspired by LEGO and Agabag blocks.

Wee ones: Which has more knobs (bumps): the gold part of the purse or the blue part?

Little kids: The latch uses 2 thin gold bricks that each has 4 knobs. How many knobs does the whole latch have?  Bonus: If you wanted the latch to have 12 knobs, how many knobs long would each gold bar have to be?

Big kids: If the front of the purse is 7 bricks long and 6 bricks wide, how many bricks does it use?  Bonus: If they changed it to be 8 bricks long and 5 bricks wide, would that use more or fewer bricks?

The sky's the limit: If the purse is 7 bricks long and 6 bricks wide on the front, where all bricks have 8 knobs each, and you make a LEGO brick house on the front of it that covers 100 knobs, how many knobs of blue sky are left showing? (Hint if needed: To multiply by 8, you can double the number, then double again, then double one more time, since that's the same as 2x2x2.)
Wee ones: The blue part.
Little kids: 8 knobs.  Bonus: 6 knobs.
Big kids: 42 bricks.  Bonus: It would use fewer, since it would be 40 vs. 42.
The sky's the limit: There are 42 bricks in total, and each has 8 knobs. Doubling gives us 84, doubling that gives us 168, and doubling again gives us 336. If you cover 100 of the knobs with other bricks, that leaves 236 blue knobs showing.

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