The post Eat It or Wear It appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Yes, we know it isn’t a good idea to eat tons of candy. But we do have a new reason to eat it: you can recycle the wrappers by wearing them! This high school girl made her prom gown top out of 18,000 Starburst candy wrappers. It fits her perfectly, too. Another fan of food and fashion made a gown out of M&M wrappers. She cut 600 wrappers and folded them to make 1,800 flowers. Next time you eat candy, you can try this for your own clothes — but you might wear your outfit before you finish eating all the candy.

*Wee ones:* A Starburst wrapper is a square. How many sides does a square have?

*Little kids:* If you eat 4 strawberry Starburst, 1 orange Starburst and 2 lemon Starburst, how many wrappers do you have? *Bonus:* Not that this would feel good to wear, but if you make matching underwear out of 5,000 wrappers, how do you count out the wrappers in 1,000s?

*Big kids:* If you make candy-wrapper underwear by adding a yellow wrapper, then red, then orange, then green, then yellow again to repeat, what color is the 20^{th} wrapper? *Bonus:* How about the 81^{st} wrapper? See if you can figure it out without counting all the way up!

*The sky’s the limit:* A bag of Starburst holds 12 candies. How many bags did she need to open up to get 18,000 wrappers? (Hint if needed: How many bags would she need to get 18 candies? Then how about 180 candies? Then how about 1,800 candies…)

__Answers:__

*Wee ones:* 4 sides.

*Little kids:* 7 wrappers. *Bonus:* 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000.

*Big kids:* Green, like all multiples of 4. *Bonus:* Yellow, since 80 finishes another set of wrappers.

*The sky’s the limit:* 1,500 bags.

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]]>The post I Scream, You Scream… appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>It’s still summer, so there’s still time to scream for ice cream. While we’ve talked about ice cream a lot here, do you know how to make it? After all, you don’t want to run out of it! Ice cream is cream, sugar, and flavorings that have been stirred while being chilled by a layer of ice. The more you stir, the more you break up any little bits of ice, and the more air you fold into it. That gives you smooth, scoopable ice cream. In the old days, people stirred that mixture in a bowl sitting inside a bigger bowl of ice. Today there are electric ice cream maker machines. But you can just dump the mixture in a plastic bag, put that in a bigger bag of ice, and shake it. There’s even a ball-shaped version that you toss back and forth with a friend, where the cream sloshes around inside. Let’s see how long everyone will throw it before opening it up to eat!

*Wee ones:* If your recipe calls for 2 cups of cream and 1 cup of sugar, how many cups of ingredients is that?

*Little kids:* If you stir your ice cream mixture, then shake it, then smush it, then stir, shake, smush…what’s the 8th thing you do? *Bonus:* If you’ve made 6 cups of ice cream and want to share equally with a friend, how many cups does each of you get?

*Big kids:* If you need a teaspoon of vanilla for every 2 cups of ice cream, how many teaspoons do you need if you’re making a gallon (16 cups)? *Bonus:* If you have 24 teaspoons of vanilla and 40 cups of cream, which one will run out first as you make vanilla ice cream?

__Answers:__

*Wee ones:* 3 cups.

*Little kids:* Shake it. *Bonus:* 3 cups.

*Big kids:* 8 teaspoons. *Bonus:* The cream will run out first, because 24 teaspoons of vanilla is enough for 48 cups of cream.

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]]>The post Dog for a Day appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>If you have a dog and you go away this weekend, you might need someone to take care of your pooch while you’re away. But then there are people who work all week and *wish* they had a dog only on the weekend. Hey, wait — they could just share your dog with you! And people really do this. There are dog-share companies out there who help people come together to take turns keeping a dog. Sometimes whole groups of people swap the same dog around and around. It’s a great idea: the dog always gets food and playtime and attention, and everyone gets to play with a pet. It works out perfectly — well, depending on the dog…

*Wee ones:* If you take care of a dog, then your friend gets the dog, then you get the dog, then your friend gets the dog…who gets the dog next?

*Little kids:* If you get the dog on a Friday and give the dog back 2 days later, on what day does that happen? *Bonus:* If you get the dog on Thursday from someone who got it 2 days before that, when did that person get the dog?

*Big kids:* If you and 5 friends all share Rufus, and each of you gets him for 5 days, how many days does Rufus get shared? *Bonus:* If you don’t feed Rufus enough and he chews through your $250 carpet and $80 of your clothes, how much did Rufus cost you?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* You get the dog next!

*Little kids:* On Sunday. *Bonus:* On Tuesday.

*Big kids:* 30 days, since 6 people are sharing him. *Bonus:* $330.

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]]>The post The Tree You Can’t Hug appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>If you’ve ever hugged a tree all the way around, we bet it was not a sequoia. Aside from having every vowel in their name (a-e-i-o-u), sequoias are cool for another reason: they’re huge! This photo shows the Grizzly Giant, a sequoia in Yosemite National Park in California. As you can see, a whole bunch of people could fit in front of it, including long-ago President Roosevelt. Sequoias are the largest trees in the world by volume, i.e. how much air space their thick trunks and branches take up. The very largest tree is the General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park. Its trunk is 25 feet wide, and at 275 feet it’s pretty tall, too. That’s because it’s been growing for over 2,500 years. Try getting your arms around that!

*Wee ones:* Find the biggest thing in your room that you can reach your arms around for a hug. Could your hand touch the other hand? The other wrist? Your elbow?

*Little kids:* If one sequoia is 8 feet wide and another sequoia is 17 feet wide, which one is wider? *Bonus:* If a tree is 20 feet wide and you’re 4 feet tall, how much wider than you is the tree if you lie down next to it?

*Big kids:* The distance around a tree is about 3 times the width. If General Sherman’s trunk is 25 feet wide, about how many feet around is the tree? *Bonus:* Using that answer, if your armspan is 5 feet, at least how many people your size have to hold hands to reach all the way around?

*The sky’s the limit:* If that 2,500-year-old tree grew 1 inch each year, would that be fast enough to be 275 feet tall now? (*Reminder if needed:* One foot has 12 inches.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Different for everyone…it might be a giant pillow, stuffed animal, or a grown-up!

*Little kids:* The 2nd tree is wider. *Bonus:* 16 feet wider.

*Big kids:* About 75 feet around (it’s actually 25 times pi, or 3.14, which gives you 78.5 feet). *Bonus:* About 15 people.

*The sky’s the limit:* Not quite! Even if each foot had only 10 inches, you’d need 2,750 inches. And it’s actually more than that: 12 inches per foot gives us 3,300 inches. So the tree must have grown more than an inch per year on average.

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]]>The post Crazy Bus appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>You’ve probably seen — or maybe even ridden — a bright yellow school bus. There are other kinds of buses in different colors for grown-ups, too. But how many buses can fly through the air? This one can: It’s called the Crazy Bus, and it’s an amusement park ride at Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. It doesn’t really fly, but those two long bars lift it high in the air and rock it back and forth. It turns out there are more than 200 rides like this around the country! But the people who make them have also shaped them as airplanes, fire trucks, and submarines (boats that go underwater). The bus might be best, though: your ride to school might be a lot more fun if it worked like this.

*Wee ones:* Most school buses are yellow. How many yellow things do you see in your room? Count them if you can!

*Little kids:* How many rows of seats does this bus have? (Count 1 row for each “window” you see.) *Bonus:* If the bus holds just 2 people in each row, how many people can ride the Crazy Bus with you?

*Big kids:* If your bus ride to school normally takes 40 minutes, but the Crazy Bus could fly you there 26 minutes faster, how long would it take? *Bonus:* If the 200 “Crazy” rides in the US are evenly divided to be buses, fire trucks, planes and subs, how many rides of each type are there?

__Answers:__

*Wee ones:* Different for everyone…you might find yellow books, flowers, or toy trucks.

*Little kids:* 6 rows. *Bonus:* 11 people, since it can hold 12 in total.

*Big kids:* 14 minutes. *Bonus:* 50 rides of each.

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]]>The post Stomp It appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever used as an instrument? Anything from a mop to a toaster to a toilet seat can become an instrument. If you shake it, click it, or bang it against some other object, you can make some crazy sounds. That’s the whole idea behind the show “Stomp, ” which started in New York. The actors/dancers/musicians play some of the weirdest instruments you’ve seen. They swish brooms, they smash together trash-can covers, they bang spoons around the inside of kitchen sinks that they strap to themselves. And all the musicians play different rhythms from each other — they’re doing math, in a sense — so it sounds really cool. If you’re looking for ways to make more noise at your house, Stomp could give you some ideas.

*Wee ones:* Find 3 things in your room that you can tap like a drum with your hand. Which one sounds the loudest?

*Little kids:* If you grab 2 baseball bats and your friend grabs 4 trash cans, how many pieces does your new drum set have? *Bonus:* If you find 3 push brooms and now you have a total of 8, how many brooms did you start with?

*Big kids:* If in a band of 20 people, 1/2 the kids play kitchen sinks while 1/2 of the kids left play mops, how many are playing mops? *Bonus:* If instead you give out 16 forks and 10 spoons to your 20-person band, what’s the biggest number of people who get only one or the other?

*The sky’s the limit:* Make a new Stomp “band” of 15 people. 1/3 of them swish brooms on every beat except the 5th (1, 2, 3, 4, (hold), 6, 7…). 1/3 play spatulas on every beat except the 4th (1, 2, 3, (hold), 5, 6,7, (hold), 9, 10…). And the last 1/3 play all the even beats (2, 4, 6…). How many people play the 50th beat of the song?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Different for everyone…you might play a wastepaper can, a book, or the side of the door!

*Little kids:* 6 pieces. *Bonus:* 5 brooms.

*Big kids:* 5 mop players. *Bonus:* 14 people. If every person who doesn’t get a fork (4 people) gets a spoon, then the last 6 spoons have to go to 6 of the 16 people who got forks. That leaves 10 more people who got just forks.

*The sky’s the limit:* 10 people. Only the ones who skip the 5^{th} beat don’t play on 50.

The post Stomp It appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Three Birthdays Every Day appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>We’ve talked about what a “year” is, and how that relates to your birthday: it’s the time our Earth takes to go all the way around our Sun. We’ve also talked about how other planets like Mercury go around faster. Well, there’s an even speedier planet out there that goes around its own sun in just 8 hours! Wherever Kepler-78b is right now, 8 hours from now everyone there will already be a “year” older in their time. Actually, nothing lives there. The planet goes fast because it’s so close to its sun. So its temperature is between 3000 and 5000 degrees, The whole planet is molten lava, the same hot stuff from inside a volcano. So yes, we Earthlings have to wait longer for our birthdays, but we’re a lot more comfortable here.

*Wee ones:* If you’re going to have 3 birthdays today, what ages will you turn today? Count up 3 years from your age!

*Little kids:* If your 2nd “birthday” today is at 1 pm, at what time is your last one 8 hours later? *Bonus:* If you serve cake only on every 4^{th} birthday, including your middle one today, at which birthday will you serve cake again? (Just the day and first/middle/last, not the time).

*Big kids:* If your 1^{st} birthday was today at 7 am, at what time was your last birthday yesterday? *Bonus:* If you get 3 birthdays a day, how old will you be 1 Earth week from now?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Different for everyone…count up the next 3 numbers from your age today!

*Little kids:* At 9 pm. *Bonus:* At your last birthday tomorrow.

*Big kids:* At 11 pm (since midnight was just 7 hours earlier). *Bonus:* Different for everyone…add 21 to your age!

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]]>The post Skater Mouse appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>These mice look like they have a lot to talk about. And they don’t just stand around on skateboards: they really know how to ride them! Shane Willmott has been training mice to surf and skateboard for over 30 years. He says mice are great at both activities, because their bodies are low to the ground. After all, can you imagine a giraffe trying to surf? It also turns out that mice have great balance so they don’t fall off. Shane has trained them to ride skateboards down tall ramps into the air through rings of fire. Oddly, the mice seem to think it’s fun. They must be brave – just imagine if you rode a skateboard off a ramp 10 times as tall as you!

*Wee ones:* Point to the mouse on your right. Now point to the mouse on your left!

*Little kids:* If a skateboarding mouse gets 3 practice runs down the ramp before his real race, how many times does the mouse ride down the ramp? *Bonus:* If out of 8 mice, the number of mice who’d rather skateboard is 2 more than the number who’d rather surf, how many mice would rather skateboard? (Remember, the surfers and skateboarders together add up to 8.)

*Big kids:* How many tiny wheels do you need to build 4-wheel skateboards for 5 mice? *Bonus:* If*you* rode off a ramp 10 times as tall as you are, how high would that ramp be? You can answer in feet, or feet and inches if you like!

*The sky’s the limit:* If 1/3 of a group of skateboarding mice ride on just 2 legs, while the rest ride on 4 legs, how many mice are there in total if there are 30 legs on the boards?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* The mouse on your right is the one who’s tan and squinting; the mouse on the left is the grey wide-eyed one.

*Little kids:* 4 times. *Bonus:* 5 mice like to skateboard, while 3 like to surf.

*Big kids:* 20 wheels. *Bonus:* Different for everyone…multiply your height either in feet or inches by 10. If you do inches, you can then peel off multiples of 12 to turn that into feet and inches.

*The sky’s the limit:* 9 mice. If 1/3 the mice are showing off standing on 2 legs, then each show-off has 2 buddies who are on 4 feet. That means their 2 legs and those 8 other legs make a set of 10 legs for each show-off mouse. If there are 30 legs, there must be 3 show-off mice. That’s 1/3 of the total, so there are 9 mice in total.

The post Skater Mouse appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Where Ice Cream Flavors Go appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Ben & Jerry’s ice cream loves to mix fun stuff into their ice cream: nuts, cookie pieces, chocolate chunks shaped like dinosaurs or fish. These guys roll out crazy new flavors every year. That means they have to stop making *other* flavors, because their factory has room to make only so many at a time. Also, some of these crazy flavors aren’t, um, so yummy. “Root Beer Float My Boat” or “Mission to Marzipan” did not have many fans. When they see that people don’t like a flavor, they stop making it, and it goes to the Flavor Graveyard at their factory. The flavor gets a headstone with a little poem that says why that ice cream had to call it quits. As you can see, some flavors run for a few years, but others go quickly to their final resting place.

*Wee ones:* The flavor “Peanuts! Popcorn!” did not go over well. If it had peanuts, popcorn, cream, eggs, and sugar, how many ingredients (foods) were mixed into that one?

*Little kids:* Turtle Soup wasn’t so good either – it lasted only 4 years. How much longer than that have you been around? *Bonus: *If you eat a bowl of Turtle Soup, then Peanuts Popcorn, then Turtle Soup, then Peanuts! Popcorn!…what flavor do you eat in the 9^{th} bowl?

*Big kids:* Poor Tennessee Mud didn’t last long. If it showed up September 1988 and went to the graveyard in June 1989, during how many months was it around? *Bonus:* Bovinity Divinity’s chocolate cows were actually pretty tasty. If your bowl has 13 dark chocolate cows and 14 *more *white chocolate cows than that, how many cows do you have altogether?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 5 ingredients.

*Little kids:* Different for everyone…subtract 4 from your age. Or maybe you’re younger than Turtle Soup was! *Bonus:* That yummy Turtle Soup.

*Big kids:* 10 months. June is 9 months later, but we need to include September itself. *Bonus:* 40 cows, since there are 13 dark and 27 white.

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]]>The post Dashing Down the Street appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>You know how roads have white and yellow lines painted down the middle? Those lines help cars drive straight so they don’t crash into each other. It might be one long line, or a line of dashes (lots of short pieces). How long do you think each dash is? Most people guess 2 to 3 feet, but they’re actually 10 feet long! Even more shocking is that they’re 30 feet apart. Because we look out ahead at dashes that are farther away, the dashes and the spaces between them look shorter than they are. Road lines were invented by accident in 1911, when a leaky milk wagon left a nice straight white trail on the street. Today’s machines drag a paintbrush along the road for just the right amount of time. But the driver has to drive very straight, or he’ll get some crazy-looking lines — and some bad driving.

*Wee ones:* Look around the room. What’s the longest straight line you see?

*Little kids:* If you press the button so the machine paints for 1 second, then leaves a space for 3 seconds, then paints for 1, then skips for 3, how long does that all take? *Bonus:* If you lay down next to one of these 10-foot road stripes, how much longer than you would it be? Find out your height in feet!

*Big kids:* If the 2^{nd} dash you paint is all wiggly, then the 5^{th} dash, then the 8^{th} dash, what number dash is the 7^{th} wiggly one? See if you can get it without counting! *Bonus:* A gallon of paint can make 180 feet of painted line. If you’re painting 10-foot-long dashes, how many dashes can you paint with 1 gallon?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Different for everyone…it might be a door frame, a stripe down a curtain, or the edge of the rug.

*Little kids:* 8 seconds. *Bonus:* Different for everyone again… subtract your height in feet from 10.

*Big kids:* The 20^{th}, since each wiggly dash’s position is 1 less than 3 times its “wiggle count” (so the 7^{th} is 1 less than 7 x 3). *Bonus:* 18 dashes.

The post Dashing Down the Street appeared first on Bedtime Math.

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