Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes turn into brilliant inventions. As this article explains, some of the best things in life were made by mistake, including Slinkies, Wheaties, and Post-it® sticky notes. The Slinky was originally supposed to be a coil for equipment on ships. Wheaties were supposed to be mushy goop, but the batter spilled on a stovetop and instantly crisped up into flakes. Post-it® notes came from glue that didn’t stick hard enough. In all cases, they turned into something fun and new – these are mistakes that need no fixing.
Wee ones: If you stick 4 Post-it® notes on your head and 2 on your arm, and 3 fall off right away, how many notes are still stuck to you?
Little ones: If a box of Wheaties fills 13 bowls, and you’ve eaten 5 of them, how many bowls are left? Bonus: If 3 million people love Wheaties and each person eats a bowl of it every day, how many bowls of the Breakfast of Champions gets eaten in a week?
Big kids: A 2-inch-tall Slinky uses 80 feet of wire! How much wire do you need to make a 6-inch Slinky of the same width? Bonus: If your school is a rectangle 300 feet long and 100 feet wide, how many stretched-out 80-foot Slinkies would you need to wrap end to end to get all the way around it?
A message from Laura: Bedtime Math is a simple idea: we all know we should read to our kids at night, but what about math? My husband and I have done fun, mischief-loaded math problems with our kids at night for years. When at age 2, our third child started hollering for his own math problem, we realized we were onto something: In a world where so many people say “Ewww, math!”, we had created a household culture where kids don’t just tolerate math, they actually seek it out. Now we email parents a fun, lively math problem every day to do with their kids – and every week, we’ll be posting a new problem right here on Scholastic Parents! Check out this week’s problem below ~
Wee ones: 3 sticky notes.
Little kids: 8 bowls left. Bonus: 21 million bowls!
Big kids: 3 times as much wire, or 240 feet. Bonus: The school is 800 feet around (2 long sides, 2 short sides), so you need 10 Slinkies.