The post Swim with the Whales appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Connecticut is one more state proving that great things come in small packages. While it’s the 3rd smallest state, it is home to 3.5 million people – plus all the slimy, splashing, slurping sea creatures at Mystic Aquarium! This aquarium has penguins, whales, sharks, seals, turtles and many other critters. Even better, you can climb into the water to play with some of the animals, like the beluga whales. These super friendly creatures are some of the smallest but noisiest whales. At Mystic, you can also meet 31 African penguins. These cute little guys are just 2 feet tall, but can dive more than 100 feet underwater – while holding their breath up to 4 minutes! This just might be the splashiest stop on our Road Trip!

*Wee ones:* Aquarium animals splash in the water. Fill a sink, bowl or bathtub with some water, and smack it 5 times with your hand to splash it!

*Little kids:* Are you taller than a 2-foot African penguin? If so, by how much? *Bonus:*If there are 34 types of animals at Mystic Aquarium and you can touch 3 of them, how many types of animals can’t you touch?

*Big kids:* If you have 70 fish to feed the Mystic penguins, and 28 penguins each eat 2 fish for dinner while the remaining 3 penguins each eat 3 fish, do you have enough fish? *Bonus:* If every 3rd penguin (starting with the 3rd) flaps its wings and every 4th penguin (starting with the 4th) gives you a high 5, how many of the 31 penguins flap their wings AND give you a high 5? Which ones?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Splash the water while you count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

*Little kids:* Different for everyone – figure out your height in feet (or feet and inches), and subtract 2 feet from it! *Bonus:* 31 types of animals.

*Big kids:* Yes! They will eat 56 fish + 9 fish = 65 fish. *Bonus:* 2 penguins: the 12th and 24th.

Learn how to join our Road Trip here!

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]]>The post Stone-Faced appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Not a whole lot of people live in South Dakota, but there are 4 people there who really rock. Carved into the rocky side of Mount Rushmore are the faces of 4 great presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. And when we say giant, we mean it: it’s carved into the side of a South Dakota mountain! Their heads are 60 feet tall, and the mountain is hundreds of feet tall, so chipping out those faces was no easy job. Every day from 1927 to 1941, over 400 men and women worked as drillers, carvers, and cooks for the group. Many carvers hung swinging from steel cables to do their work. 90% of the rock was blasted away with dynamite, then they swung back to carve and polish by hand. Since they spent money on the project too fast, the sculpture was never totally finished. But we can still tell which presidents are looking out at us.

*Wee ones:* Find 3 things in your room that are chunky like rocks. Line them up from biggest to smallest.

*Little kids:* President Roosevelt is the one with the mustache. How many presidents are sitting to his right? *Bonus:* Workers would sell rocks to visitors. If you sold 1 rock for $2, how much money would you have to get for a 2nd rock to have $10 total?

*Big kids:* The tops of the presidents’ heads are 500 feet above ground. Since their heads are 60 feet tall, how high off the ground are their chins? *Bonus:* If you sell rocks for either $2 or $7 apiece, how many combinations of the two could you sell to make $23?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Items could include a shoe, a board book, a balled-up sock, a real ball, or a real rock! See which one is biggest and which is smallest.

*Little kids:* 2 presidents (Washington and Jefferson). *Bonus:* For $8.

*Big kids:* 440 feet. *Bonus:* Only 2 possibilities: one $7 rock and eight $2 rocks, or three $7 rocks and one $2 rock. You can’t sell 0 or 2 big rocks, because then the leftover is an odd number, and you can’t fill that by selling $2 rocks.

Learn how you can join our Road Trip here!

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]]>The post A Tree That’s Tough to Hug appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>California is huge in a lot of ways. It’s the third-largest state after Alaska and Texas, and nearly 40 million people live there, the most people of any state (and more people than live in all of Canada!). On top of that – literally – it has the highest point of the lower 48 states: Mount Whitney. Well, turns out California’s trees are huge, too. Sequoias are the largest trees on Earth by volume, i.e. the air space filled by their thick trunks and branches. The very largest tree is the General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park. Its trunk is 25 feet wide – as wide as a lot of houses – 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 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 arm span 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: A 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 (17 feet) is wider. *Bonus:* 16 feet wider.

*Big kids:* About 75 feet around (it’s actually 25 x pi, a special number that equals 3.14, which gives you 78.5 feet). *Bonus:* About 15 people.

*The sky’s the limit:* Not quite! 12 inches per foot means the tree is 3,300 inches. So an inch a year for 2,500 years wouldn’t be enough. The tree had to grow faster than that.

Learn how to join our Road Trip here!

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]]>The post Truth or Dairy appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Our next state’s borders include Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, but it’s famous for another liquid: milk! Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland,” and with more than 1.2 million milk cows, it’s easy to spot why. Those cows make enough milk to give 95 pounds of it to every American. Of course, milk doesn’t have to stay milk. It can be made into cheese, or even better, ice cream! So it’s not surprising that the ice cream sundae was born in this state. Back in 1881, a man named Edward Berners invented this treat and started selling them for a nickel. At first he made sundaes only on Sundays, but soon customers were begging for them every day of the week. And we can see why!

*Wee ones: *If you top your sundae with peanuts, chocolate syrup, and cherries, how many toppings is that?

*Little kids: *If you eat a piece of cheese, then a sundae, then a glass of milk, then cheese again to repeat the pattern…what’s the 8th thing you eat?* Bonus: *If it takes 12 pounds of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream, how many pounds would it take to make 1 gallon of vanilla ice cream and 1 gallon of chocolate ice cream?

*Big kids: *If a sundae costs $5.50 today, how much more money is that than the original 5-cent price? *Bonus: *How many times as expensive is it? (Hint if needed: $5.50 is 550 cents or pennies.)

Answers:

*Wee ones: *3 toppings.

*Little kids: *A sundae, which is the 2nd thing in each set of 3. *Bonus: *24 pounds.

*Big kids: *$5.45 more expensive. *Bonus: *It is 110 times as expensive, because 5 x 110 = 550.

On our next stop, we’ll climb some trees that are thousands of years older than us! Learn how you can join our Road Trip here!

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]]>The post A Boatload of Mail appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Alabama is famous for its football, but today we’re going to celebrate a lesser-known team sport: mail delivery. One town called Magnolia Springs has a crazy way to bring mail to people’s homes: by boat! The mailman rides down the river with letters and packages for the 180 houses along the river’s edge. The town started this more than 100 years ago, because back then boating was easier than driving on the muddy roads. The mailman does get some company: he’s seen plenty of alligators and swimming deer, and has even had fish jump right into his boat. It takes about 4 hours to drop off all the mail. But it must be a pretty fun job, because this guy has been doing it for 13 years!

*Wee ones:* If you get a letter on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, how many days did you get letters?

*Little kids:* If the mail carrier has 4 fish flop into his boat and then 1 flops back out into the river, how many fish are still in the boat? *Bonus:* If there are no fish, then 5 jump into the boat, then 2 jump back out, then 6 new fish jump in, then 1 jumps out, NOW how many fish do you have?

*Big kids:* If the mailman has 50 letters to deliver, but for 12 of them he accidentally gives the person a slimy fish instead of the letter, how many letters does he deliver like he’s supposed to? *Bonus:* If he gives a fish to every 3rd house starting with the 3rd, how many of the 180 houses get a bonus mail fish?

*The sky’s the limit:* If every boat mail carrier has worked exactly 13 years, how many mail carriers have there been since 1915? (We’re in 2019 right now.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 days.

*Little kids:* 3 fish.* Bonus:* 8 fish.

*Big kids:* 38 letters. *Bonus:* 60 houses get a fish.

*The sky’s the limit:* 8 mail carriers. 2019 – 1915 = 104, and 104 / 13 = 8.

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]]>The post The Maine Thing appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Maine is the only state whose name has just one syllable. Maine is also the only state that touches just one other state (New Hampshire). But our favorite thing about Maine is how much Mainers love dogs – and want to adopt them. A lady named Heather Hobby saves hundreds of dogs from the South and drives them to Maine for people who want a pet. She fits up to 40 dogs in her van. It’s a tough trip – she has to stop many times to let the dogs out to pee, poop, and pose for pictures (not all at the same time). When she shows up in Maine to give people their new pets, it’s like handing out presents. But how has she saved hundreds of dogs? The math will show us how!

*Wee ones: *Maine can get really chilly, and you know what? Earmuffs were invented there! Point to your own ears – how many are there? How many ears are in the room?

*Little kids: *If you take your new adopted pet dog for a walk, how many legs do you have all together? *Bonus: *Heather Hobby drives through as many as 9 states to bring her dogs to Maine. If you’re counting them down from 9 for her, what numbers do you say?

*Big kids: *If Heather has 35 (4-legged) dogs in the car, how many doggie paws are there? *Bonus**:*Heather makes this trip over and over. If she makes 1 trip per month with 40 dogs each time, how many dogs can she bring to Maine in 1 year?

*The sky’s the limit:* When Heather drops off the dogs, if there are the same number of people as dogs in the room and there are 42 legs, how many dogs and people are there?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Different for everyone! Most people have 2 ears, so it will depend on the number of people in the room.

*Little kids: *6 legs. *Bonus: *9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

*Big kids: *140 paws. One quick way to multiply by 4 is to double the number (70) and then double it again (140). *Bonus:* 480 dogs! There are 12 months in a year, so she can bring 12 x 40.

*The sky’s the limit:* 7 people and 7 dogs. Each person has 1 dog buddy (and each dog has 1 human friend), So each person-pup set has 6 legs together. Then we just have to find how many sets of 6 go into 42. 42/6 = 7 sets.

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]]>The post Get Your Bunza to a Runza appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>We all need snacks on a road trip, but some snacks (like apples) are easier to drag along than others (like piping hot soup). But what about a hot Runza? What is a Runza, anyway? It’s a tasty sandwich that Nebraska has been keeping secret from the rest of us. The bun is a doughy “bread pocket,” like a pita or calzone. The filling of beef, onions and cabbage (and whatever else you want to add) is held neatly inside. That means you can bring your Runza on the world’s wildest car ride without making a mess! You can also eat it while swinging – like on the world’s largest covered porch swing in Hebron, Nebraska. It’s 32 feet long, so you’ll want to bring some friends to help you get it moving.

*Wee ones:* Could you lie down on the world’s largest swing? Stretch out and measure your length, then compare it to the 32-foot long swing!

*Little kids:* If there are 5 of you in your car for your road trip, and everyone else has 1 Runza but you snuck in 2, how many Runzas are in the car?* Bonus:* If the largest porch swing can hold 24 kids or 18 adults, how many more kids than grown-ups can fit on it?

*Big kids:* If a Runza can hold 3 ingredients – beef, onions and cabbage – how many different ways can you layer them in the pocket? *Bonus:* What if you also throw in a slice of tomato? Now how many orders are there – and can you see a pattern for guessing at 5 ingredients without writing them all out?

*The sky’s the limit:* If the largest swing can hold 18 adults or 24 kids, and there are 15 adults on the swing, how many kids can you add?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* There’s definitely enough room on that swing to stretch out!

*Little kids:* 6 Runzas. *Bonus:* 6 more kids than grown-ups.

*Big kids:* 6 ways. There are 3 choices for your 1st layer: B, O or C. For each of those, there are 2 choices for the next layer, so you multiply by 2 to get 6…and then there’s only 1 thing left in each case, so you still have 6. *Bonus:* 24 ways for 4 ingredients. There are now 4 choices for your 1st layer – B, O, C or T – and each of those has 3 choices after it, giving you 4 x 3 = 2 possible pairs. For each of THOSE you have 2 choices, giving you 4 x 3 x 2…and then that sets the order since only 1 choice is left for the final slot. So we have 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24. That means 5 ingredients would have 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120 ways to stack them!

*The sky’s the limit:* 4 more kids. The 15 adults on the swing mean that it is 15/18 full. 15/18 can be simplified to 5/6. So 1/6 of the swing is still empty, so it can hold 1/6 of the 24 possible total kids, which is 4 kids. Another way to figure it out: 3/4 as many adults as kids can fit on the swing, so if there’s room for 3 more adults, there must be room for 4 more kids!

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]]>The post A Giant Leap for Frogs appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Time to put on your boots, because the next state on our road trip kind of looks like one. And they’ve got hops: Rayne, Louisiana is the “Frog Capital of the World.” Every year this town has a festival with frog-jumping competitions. They’ve had that nickname since the 1800s, when two businessmen were eating frogs’ legs (yes, that’s a real dish you can eat) and started selling them to restaurants in New York. Rayne has been excited about frogs ever since. They even sent 2 bullfrogs into outer space in 1970, so people could study how being way up there affected their balance. Rayne’s frog festival has been running since 1973…we just hope the frogs who lose the jumping contest don’t become tomorrow’s lunch.

*Wee ones: *Squat down on the floor, then hop forward 4 times like a frog. Count as you hop!

*Little kids:* Vowels are the letters a e i o u, and sometimes y. All other letters are “consonants.” Does “Louisiana” have more vowels or consonants? Count them up! *Bonus: *If you and your 2 pet frogs take a walk (or hop), how many legs do you all have together? (Reminder: A frog has 4 legs.)

*Big kids: *If a frog leaps 36 feet, another leaps 28 feet, and a 3rd lands exactly halfway between them, how far does the 3rd frog go? *Bonus: *If 1 frog makes 6 7-inch jumps and a 2nd frog makes 5 8-inch jumps, which frog jumped farther? And if a 3rd frog makes 4 9-inch jumps, what does that come to, and what do you see happening to the numbers?

*The sky’s the limit: *If a frog zooms into outer space on March 19 and comes back down to Earth on May 8, how many days was the frog on the rocket, including both the first and last days?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Hop 1, 2, 3, 4.

*Little kids: *It has more vowels: 6 vowels and just 3 consonants. *Bonus: *10 legs, which is 4 + 4 + 2.

*Big kids: *32 feet. *Bonus: *The 1st frog jumped farther: a total of 42 feet vs. 40. The 3rd frog would go 36 feet…as you spread apart the 2 numbers you’re multiplying, you get smaller answers. This is always true!

*The sky’s the limit: *51 days. March has 31 days and the frog was *not* on the rocket for the first 18, so 31-18=13 days in space, Then we add the 30 days of April and the 8 days of May.

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]]>The post The State at the Center of It All appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The next state on our trip is the Sunflower State, better known as Kansas. There’s some cool math happening here: the geographic center of the lower 48 states is in Kansas! Over 100 years ago, surveyors balanced a cardboard cutout of the U.S. on a pin, and found the center was near a town called Lebanon, Kansas. It’s also the middle of “America’s Bread Basket,” since Kansas grows more wheat than any other state. You know what a half-gallon of milk looks like? A “bushel” is more than 18 of those put together, and the 20,000 wheat farms in Kansas grow 333 million bushels of wheat every year. That’s 1/5 of all the wheat in the country, and could make 36 BILLION loaves of bread. Let’s see how fast all of America can eat that!

*Wee ones:* If you make a sandwich with peanut butter, jelly, and 2 slices of bread, how many layers are in the sandwich?

*Little kids:* Pretend you’re like that piece of cardboard balancing on a pin. Stand on 1 leg, and count until you tip over. See how high a number you can reach! *Bonus:* If you take 3 hours to drive from Topeka (Kansas’ capital) to Lebanon, spend 2 hours balancing on 1 leg at the center of the US, and drive back in the same time it took to drive there, how long does your trip take?

*Big kids:* If Kansas makes 1/5 of all the wheat in the country, and no state makes more than it, can another state make 1/4 of all the wheat in the country? *Bonus:* If the wheat from Kansas can make 36 billion loaves of standard sandwich bread, how many loaves could it make if a baker made the loaves 3 times the size of standard sandwich bread?

*The sky’s the limit:* If a standard loaf of bread has 2 dozen slices, how many 2-slice sandwiches can you make with your 110 loaves from Kansas?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 layers.

*Little kids:* Different for everyone…see how long you can stand on 1 leg! *Bonus:* 8 hours, because 3 + 2 + 3 = 8.

*Big kids:* No, because 1/4 is bigger than 1/5. Bonus: 12 billion loaves, because baking loaves 3 times as big will make 1/3 of the 36 billion loaves, and 36 / 3 = 12.

*The sky’s the limit:* You can make 1,320 sandwiches. Each loaf makes 1 dozen, or 12, sandwiches. Using partial products: 12 x 110 = 12 x 100 + 12 x 10 = 1200 + 120 = 1,320.

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]]>The post Leave It to Beavers appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>A pentagon has 5 sides, a hexagon has 6 sides, but how many sides does an Oregon have? Well, there are many sides to this state! About half the state is covered by forest, but there are also deserts, volcanoes, and the deepest lake in America. So it makes sense that Oregon’s flag is the only one with different designs on the 2 sides. The front side of the flag has the state seal and 33 stars, since Oregon is the 33rd state. The back side has a beaver, the official state animal. Unlike real life, the beaver on the flag is bright gold. Another unusual thing going on in Oregon are some of the town names, which include Fossil, Persist, Spray, Sodaville, Promise, Glide, Wonder, and Rainbow. There’s even a town called Boring – but don’t let that fool you!

*Wee ones: *If a triangle has 3 sides and a square has 4, which shape has more sides? Draw a triangle and then a square in the air with your finger – or if you have paper and pencil, draw them on paper!

*Little kids: *Along with the beaver, the Oregon state flag also has an eagle, an elk, and 2 oxen on it. How many animals is that in total? *Bonus: *If Oregon is the 33rd state, how many states had already joined the U.S. before that?

*Big kids: *Beavers love to chomp on wood. If you put out snacks on toothpicks, and the beaver eats 2 toothpicks, then 5 in the next chomp, then 9 in the next…how many does it chomp on the next bite to keep up the pattern? *Bonus: *If a beaver’s body is 36 inches long, and its tail adds on another 12 inches, what fraction of the beaver’s whole length is tail?

*The sky’s the limit: *The Oregon state flag also has the year it became a state – 1859 – on it. If you rearrange the digits in 1859 to make the biggest possible number, how much greater would it be than 1859?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *A square, because 4 is more than 3. Try drawing each shape!

*Little kids: *5 animals. *Bonus: *32 states.

*Big kids: *14 toothpicks. The pattern starts with 2, then adds 3 for the next number, then adds 4, so now we add 5, bringing us from 9 to 14. *Bonus: *The tail is 1/4 of the total length, which is 36 + 12 = 48 inches. Then 12 / 48 = 1/4.

*The sky’s the limit: *7,992. The largest number you can make with the digits 1 8 5 9 is 9,851. 9,851 – 1,859 = 7,992.

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