Zombie Run (17 minute puzzle)

kids running

[zombies courtesy of competitor.com via Deadtoorights.blogspot.com]


I am always sometimes trying to find activities for all four kids to participate in together, with their varied abilities.

There is an old transport puzzle that I caught a video about a while back sometimes called the Bridge and Torch Puzzle. It is usually a mental puzzle, but given the four characters in it, I thought we could act it out.

I showed the kids the first part (up to 2:00) of the animated video below to explain the premise and rules of the activity.

Then we biked to a walking/biking bridge not too far from our house.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 8.29.57 AM

Then, because my kids wouldn’t take 1,2,5, and 10 minutes, respectively, to cross the bridge, I timed each one running across. To get a better sense of your runners’ speeds, you might want them to run a round trip and cut the times in half (to account for transitions). This activity is best if your 4 runners have clearly different running abilities (our 3, 5, 7, and 8 year old crew was great for this).

To calculate the goal time: add the fastest and slowest times and then add 3 times the second fastest (these are one-direction times). You might give a little bit of wiggle room time, but not so much that a different (less-than optimal) running arrangement would succeed.

Their first try was a very common wrong attempt, but then we talked through where they could make up time. The second attempt was a better arrangement and saved them more time.

Watch the 2nd half (after 2:00) of the animated video for the solution, if you want.

Here are our runs:

First Attempt:

Second Attempt:

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