# Halloween Math Activities: Spooky Numbers

What makes a number spooky? What makes a spooky date unique?

This Halloween, let’s explore numbers! We have some spooky number facts and questions, a scary number storybook for grades K-1, and an ST Math coloring page (for any age, including adults!).

## Spooky Number Facts

#### Thirteen (13)

The number 13 has developed numerous connotations with being unlucky in Western culture. Superstitious practices include skipping the number altogether when numbering floors of tall buildings, avoiding having 13 dinner guests at a table, and being extra cautious on Friday the 13th. The fear of the number 13 even has its own name: triskaidekaphobia. While this condition is rare, it’s estimated that 9 to 10 percent of Americans have expressed some level of fear relating to the number 13.

Friday the 13th is challenging to determine, but not impossible!

#### Four (4)

The number 4 has negative connotations in many East Asian cultures. In several languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean, the number four has a very similar sound to the word for death.

Similar to 13 in the United States, those who are superstitious in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan will avoid the use of the number 4 as much as possible. Beijing's traffic management bureau went as far as refusing to issue car license plates containing the number 4. There is also a word for this fear: tetraphobia.

• If a builder skipped numbers with a 4 when numbering the floors, what floor would you arrive on when you hit 15 on the elevator? Click to see answer
• If a builder skipped numbers with a 4 when numbering the floors, what floor would you arrive on when you hit 50 on the elevator? Click to see answer
• If a builder skipped numbers with a 4 when numbering the floors, what floor would you arrive on when you hit 100 on the elevator? Click to see answer

## A Spooky Number Riddle

October 31st is known as Halloween in the United States. Children dress up in costumes and go door to door to collect candy in their neighborhood - trick or treating. Many adults celebrate as well, with decorations, costumes, and passing out candy.

We've got a riddle for you: Why is this year's spookiest number 20,221,031?

Time starts with the biggest chunk and works down: hour, then minutes, then seconds.
Halloween wants you to get the biggest number of treats not tricks, so it likes its date to follow the same rules as time: year, then month, then day, because a year is the biggest amount of time first.
That means Halloween's favorite number by date would be: 2022/10/31 or 20,221,031!

Fun fact! There is an international standard for writing dates this way, but only nine countries follow it exclusively.

## Scary Numbers Storybook

If cows could talk about numbers, what would their scariest number be? Take a fantastic journey into prehistoric Lesotho through the Scary Numbers storybook from MathMINDs.

This storybook is geared for students in Kindergarten to first grade, and includes interactive story elements to get the whole family engaged with numbers.

## ST Math Halloween Coloring Page

Looking for a fun activity to celebrate your student’s progress through ST Math so far this year? Print and share this coloring page featuring JiJi and friends. We’ll feature the most spooktacular masterpieces on our Twitter and Instagram.

Have a spooky Halloween!

Calli Wright was the Marketing Manager at MIND Research Institute. She loves playing and designing board games, which she often talks about on twitter @CalliWrights.

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