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.

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]]>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.

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]]>The post A Backwards Day appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>A palindrome is a word that is spelled the same backwards and forwards, like toot and racecar. Can you think of any others? It turns out *numbers*can do the same thing — like today’s date! Today is written as 8/18/18, which means the 18th day of the 8th month of the year (August). In fact, we’re in a week-long stretch where every day is a palindrome, starting with 8/10/18 all the way until 8/19/18. Don’t forget, 8/1/18 was a palindrome, too! We’ve been having cool stretches of dates for the past few years, like 7/13/17, and 6/11/16…but these streaks don’t happen every year forever, as we’ll find out below. See if can you figure out when the next streak will happen!

*Wee ones:* How do you say “123” in backwards order?

*Little kids:* If you say “221” in backwards order, is it the same or different? How about 454? *Bonus:* How old will you be the next time your age is the same backwards and forwards?

*Big kids:* After 8/19/18, what’s the next date that will be a palindrome? *Bonus:* How long is that from our last palindrome this year?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you’re allowed to write both the month and year as 2 digits, when’s the first year when we won’t have any palindromic dates? (For example, in 2020 you can write February as 02).

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 321.

*Little kids: *221 then reads 122, so it’s not a palindrome. But 454 does work! *Bonus:* Different for everyone…any single digit works, like 7, 8 or 9! Or your next age might be 11, or 22…or 101!

*Big kids:* The next one will be 9/1/19. *Bonus:* Counting from 8/19/18, that’s 1 year and 13 days later (378 days).

*The sky’s the limit:* We’ll have the same kinds of dates in 2019 (/10/19, 9/11/19…), and in 2020 we can have them in February (02/1/20 through 02/9/20, plus 02/11/20). We’ll also have a couple in 2021 (for example: 1/2/21, 1/21/21, and 12/1/21 through 12/9/21, as well as 12/11/21 and 12/22/21). Then in 2022 we’ll have 2/2/22, 2/20/22, 2/21/22 and so on. That’s true throughout the ’20s, with dates like 3/20/23, all the way through 9/29/29. In 2030 we start over with 03/1/30, then 1/3/31. This pattern will continue through the ’40s, ’50s, all the way to 9/9/99 in 2099. 2100 is the first year we won’t have one, because we can’t have 0/0/00!

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]]>The post The Wake ‘n Bacon appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Sometimes it’s hard to wake up in the morning if you’re really sleepy. But the smell of yummy breakfast might get you out of bed. So how about an alarm clock that wakes you with the smell of bacon? That’s right: the Wake ‘n Bacon Alarm Clock not only buzzes to wake you up, but also pops out a tray of hot, crispy bacon. At night you put raw bacon inside the clock (which of course is shaped like a pig). In the morning, 10 minutes before your alarm goes off, the clock heats up and cooks the bacon. When the buzzer rings, the clock serves up your bacon from the side of the pig’s head. We heard about this clock years ago, but have still never seen one ourselves, even though this has to be the best invention ever. Someone should build it to make pancakes, too: the Wake ‘n Cake ‘n Bacon!

*Wee ones:* If you put 4 strips of bacon in your Wake ‘n Bacon, but then throw in 1 more, how many strips of bacon will it make?

*Little kids:* If you put in 3 strips of bacon for yourself and twice as much for the rest of your family, how many strips of bacon pop out? *Bonus:* If it could make pancakes, too, and you make 2 strips of bacon, then 3 pancakes, then 2 strips of bacon…what’s the 10^{th}thing you make?

*Big kids:* If you set you alarm for 7:05 am, at what time does the bacon start cooking if it needs 10 minutes? *Bonus:* If you like softer bacon and set it to cook just 8 minutes each day, how much time does your Wake ‘n Bacon spend cooking bacon over 1 week?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 5 strips of bacon.

*Little kids:* 9 strips, since you make 6 for the rest of your family. *Bonus:* A pancake, since it’s the 5^{th} thing in a set of 5.

*Big kids:* At 6:55 am (5 minutes before 7 am). *Bonus:* 56 minutes, or almost an hour a week.

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]]>The post Feather Bedhead appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>We just love this guy’s hairdo. He’s an Egyptian vulture, also known as “the Pharaoh’s chicken” after Egypt’s long-ago kings. Aside from his crazy feather bedhead, he also has a very pointy-looking beak, and he’s very smart with how he uses it. Egyptian vultures are one of the few birds that hold objects and use them as “tools.” Vultures usually eat animals that are already dead – yuck! But they also eat other things, like the eggs of other birds. The vulture holds a pebble in its mouth and pounds it like a hammer on the egg to open it and eat it. Also, vultures use their beaks to roll up wool on twigs when building their nests. Now, if we could just teach him how to use a hairbrush…

*Wee ones:* How many eyes does our Egyptian vulture friend have?

*Little kids:* An Egyptian vulture’s wings stretch 3 times as far as his body length! Lie down with your arms to the sides, and have a grown-up mark the end of each hand with a book or toy. Now turn to put your head near one marker, and your feet by the other. Which is longer, your body or your armspan? *Bonus:* A female Egyptian vulture lays 2 brick-red eggs each year. If she’s been laying eggs all *your* life, how many eggs has she laid altogether? (Don’t worry about half-years!)

*Big kids:* If you take 7, add 2, triple what you get, and subtract 6, you get the number of years Egyptian vultures live. How long is that? *Bonus:* When Egyptian vultures “migrate” (fly north or south for the season), they can fly 300 miles in 1 day. How many miles could they fly in 1 week? (Hint if needed: What if they flew just 3 miles a day…then how about 30 miles a day…)

*The sky’s the limit:* If an Egyptian vulture hammers an egg, then rolls up a twig, then says “ca-caw!”, then hammers, rolls a twig, ca-caws, and so on to repeat the pattern, what’s its 92nd move?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 2 eyes.

*Little kids:* They might not be exactly the same, but they’ll be close! *Bonus:* Different for everyone…multiply your age by 2.

*Big kids:* 21 years. You get 9, then 27, then 21. *Bonus:* 2,100 miles.

*The sky’s the limit:* Rolling up a twig. 92 is 2 more than a very clear multiple of 3 (90), so it’s the 2^{nd} move in the set.

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]]>The post That’s One Heavy Ocean appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Every day we stand up and walk around on the ground. That’s because we aren’t fish. But 3/4 of Earth is covered with water. So our friend Parker M. asked, how much does the ocean weigh? Well, water’s really heavy: if you had a box 1 foot wide, 1 foot long and 1 foot tall filled with water, it would weigh about 62 1/2 pounds! Scientists’ best guess is that there are 326 million cubic *miles* of water, meaning boxes a whole mile wide, a mile long and a mile tall. Each side of a cube that size is 5,280 feet long, so there are 5,280 x 5,280 x 5,280 little 1-foot boxes in each of those cubic miles…we get 47,986,532,352,000,000,000 of those, or nearly 48 *quintillion*. Multiply by 62 1/2 pounds for each of those, and that weighs 3 *sextillion* pounds. We’re glad we could figure this out without weighing it cup by cup!

*Wee ones:* Plug a sink, turn on the water while you count to 5, then turn it off. Is the sink a little bit full, half full, or totally full?

*Little kids:* If you drink a cup of water at breakfast, then lunch, then dinner, plus 3 more cups in the afternoon, how many cups do you drink each day? *Bonus:* How many more would you need to drink a half-gallon (8 cups)?

*Big kids:* 1 gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds. How many gallons of water match your weight? (Hint if needed: 8 is 2 x 2 x 2, so to divide by 8, you just cut in half 3 times in a row.) *Bonus:*How much does a 40-gallon bathtub of water weigh, if each gallon weighs about 60 pounds?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* It should probably be only a little bit full.

*Little kids:* 6 cups. *Bonus:* 2 more cups.

*Big kids:* Different for everyone…divide your weight by 8, or see how many 8s you need to add up to match your weight. *Bonus:* 2,400 pounds!

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]]>The post Chalk Art Gone Wild appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Have you ever drawn with sidewalk chalk? What’s awesome is that you have a whole sidewalk for your picture, so that picture can be huge – much bigger than on a piece of paper. It got *really* huge when more than 6,000 people together drew the world’s largest chalk pavement art. Those little blocks in the corner of the photo are buildings! Drawn in California in 2008, the picture covered 90,000 square feet. It took just 15 hours, and what’s really cool is that more than 4,000 of those people were kids. In 2015 an even bigger picture was drawn by 5,678 kids. But we still love this lizard. Next time you go outside, you could turn your driveway or sidewalk into your own giant picture – at least until it rains.

*Wee ones:* How many feet can you count on that lizard?

*Little kids:* If you and 4 friends draw one giant toe, how many of you are drawing? *Bonus:* If you draw for 3 hours starting at 9:00 in the morning, at what time do you finally take a break?

*Big kids:* If that lizard has 4 feet and 4 toes on each foot, how many more toes does it have than you do? *Bonus:* If 6,000 people drew this art and each one used up 3 boxes of chalk, how many boxes were used?

*The sky’s the limit:* The area of a rectangle is its width in feet times its length. If that perfectly square picture covers 90,000 square feet, how wide is the square? (Remember a square means that width and length are the same number.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 feet.

*Little kids:* 5 people. *Bonus:* At 12:00 noon.

*Big kids:* 6 more, since it has 16 toes and you have just 10. *Bonus:* 18,000 boxes.

*The sky’s the limit:* 300 feet. We know 3 x 3 is 9, and since there are 4 zeroes, we need 2 zeroes on each 3 to make 4 zeroes once we multiply.

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]]>The post The Horse That Could Ride You appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Wait — is that a real horse next to that dog? It is, and her name is Thumbelina. She’s the smallest horse in the world, standing less than 18 inches tall. She weighs 57 pounds, which might be close to what a kid weighs! In fact, her parents are miniature horses, weighing around 175 pounds – about the same as a human grown-up. Normal-sized horses can weigh 1,000 pounds or more, so these furry friends are tiny. To top it off, Thumbelina was born a dwarf: she won’t ever grow to her parents’ full adult size. She’s so small that if you stood a loaf of bread on end, it would reach to her shoulders. Meanwhile, the world’s BIGGEST horse is Big Jake. He stands 6 feet 11 inches tall, and weighs around 2,600 pounds. That’s way more than a person, even a grown-up!

*Wee ones:* Tiny Thumbelina has 2 front feet and 2 back feet, like any horse. How many horseshoes does she need to wear?

*Little kids:* Horses like oats. If you feed Thumbelina 2 bowls of Cheerios for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner, how many bowls will she eat today? *Bonus:* The seat of a kid’s chair is around 15 inches high. At 18 inches Thumbelina is barely taller — but by how much? Count up from 15 if it helps!

*Big kids:* If Thumbelina is 18 inches tall, how much shorter than you is she? *Bonus:* If a bunch of 200-pound dwarf horses want to play tug-of-war against Big Jake, how many dwarfs need to pile up to weigh as much as Jake?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 horseshoes.

*Little kids:* 6 bowls. *Bonus:* 3 inches.

*Big kids:* Different for everyone…find out your height in inches, then subtract 18. *Bonus:* 13 horses.

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]]>The post Speed Stackers appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>As you learn to do new things, sometimes you find out you’re really fast at them. You might be a fast jungle-gym-climber, or Lego-snap-togetherer, or ice-cream-eater. Well, one fun thing people do really fast is cup-stacking. They race to stack regular old plastic cups into pyramids, without knocking anything over. So of course, now people race at this against each other. In official speed-stacking, players are given 12 cups. First you build a big 6-cup pyramid with 2 little 3-cup triangles on either side. Then you shove all the cups back together, then take them apart to build two 6s. Then you build a 10-cup pyramid, and finally you put the cups back in their starting spots. Watch this kid’s awesome video and try for yourself…you might find out you’re a speed stacker, too!

*Wee ones:* If you stack a 6-cup pyramid and your friend stacks a 3-cup one, who stacked more cups?

*Little kids:* If you’ve stacked your 6-cup pyramid and first 3-cup pyramid, how many cups have you stacked? *Bonus:* If the winner stacks in 12 seconds, your friend stacks in 16 seconds, and your time is exactly halfway between, how fast do you stack?

*Big kids:* If you stack 6 cups, then 3 cups, then 10, then 6 again and 3 again to start over…what size pyramid do you stack on the 19^{th} time? See if you can get it without counting all the way up! *Bonus:* If you stack a 6-cup and 2 3-cups, then 2 6-cups, and then a 10-cup, and you take 1/2 second to place each cup, how fast do you stack all that?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* You stacked more cups.

*Little kids:* 9 cups. *Bonus:* 14 seconds.

*Big kids:* 6 cups, because it’s at the start of a new set of 3 moves. *Bonus:* 17 seconds, since you placed 34 cups.

The post Speed Stackers appeared first on Bedtime Math.

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