Answer Your Car’s Questions

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.

Answer Your Car’s Questions

January 30, 2013

Since we gave cats some attention the other day, we decided our cars should get a turn, too.  Really, being a car has to be a tough life.  You get stuffed full of people and booster seats, you have to drive for miles when they feel like going, not you, and all you get for food is that smelly gasoline.  Then even when you complain with the “Check Engine” light, everyone ignores you.  So what would cars say to us if they could talk?  Let’s show them a little love and find out.

Wee ones: “Are we there yet?” If you’re heading somewhere 10 miles away and you’ve driven 3 miles, how many more miles do you have left to go?

Little kids: “Can someone get the melted crayons out from under the seat?  It’s pretty uncomfortable…” If you left a 24-pack of crayons in the hot car and there are only 19 left in the box, how many melted their way into the seat crack?  Bonus: “And do you have to hit every pothole? C’mon!” If you drive 5 blocks and hit 3 potholes on each block, how many potholes do you hit?

Big kids: “Is it dinnertime yet?” If the nearest gas station is 20 miles away and you’re zooming at 80 miles per hour, how long till your car gets fed? (Assume you drive 80 mph the whole way and then skid to a stop.)  Bonus: “Hey, can I have the 93-octane instead of the crummy 89?  Show some love.” If the 89-octane costs $3.69 per gallon but the 93-octane costs $3.79, how much extra will you spend to fill your car’s 16-gallon tank with the 93?




Wee ones: 7 more miles.

Little kids: 5 melted crayons.  Bonus: 15 potholes.

Big kids: It’s 1/4 of the distance you can drive in an hour, so it will take 1/4 of an hour, or 15 minutes.  Bonus: It costs 1 extra dime per gallon more, so for the whole tank you’ll spend another 160 cents, or $1.60.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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