# 100 Acrobats, Hanging by a Thread

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

# 100 Acrobats, Hanging by a Thread

September 4, 2017

Acrobats do amazing things. They stand on each other’s shoulders, flip upside down in the air, and somehow jump to the ground without breaking their necks. In this video of the Chinese Youth Olympics, we see 100 acrobats do these crazy feats all together. They dangle from ropes held by hundreds of people on the ground. The acrobats then stack up in a tall pillar, then explode outward and back in like a glowing jellyfish. Even the rope pullers on the ground form beautiful patterns — and with lots of numbers behind them. When you’re helping to hold up 12 people high over your head, you’d better do the math right!

Wee ones: What shapes are made by the rope pullers on the ground? (You can see them in the top right picture.)

Little kids: If there are 5 rings of rope pullers, and 3 of them start swirling to the right while the rest swirl to the left, how many rings swirl left?  Bonus: If there are 100 acrobats and 200 MORE rope pullers than that, how many rope pullers are there?

Big kids: If the cone shape has 8 layers with 8 acrobats in each, how many acrobats make those 8 layers?  Bonus: If instead they made 6 rings on the ground and each had 10 more pullers than the next ring inside it, how many rope pullers would there be if the smallest ring had 80 people? (Hint for a shortcut: How many would the 3rd and 4th rows add up to…then how many in the 2nd and 5th together…)

The sky’s the limit: If there were 3 acrobats in the 1st layer, 6 in the 2nd, 9 in the 3rd layer and so on, how many layers would you need to stack 360 people?