Big Star State

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.

Big Star State

August 17, 2019

They say that everything’s bigger in Texas. That’s definitely true for cowboys’ hats and the ranches they work on. One ranch in Texas is bigger than the whole state of Rhode Island! It makes sense when you think about how hungry cows are. Depending on a cow’s size, it can eat 25-30 pounds of grass, hay, and other food in a day. Cows can walk pretty far, too, so you need about 10-15 acres for every cow. An acre is about 3/4 the size of a football field. 1 human worker has to take care of 800 or even 1,000 cows. So ranchers get help from herding animals like horses and dogs. Horses can walk more than 30 miles per day – a lot easier for them to chase cows than for us to do it!
 
Wee ones: Texas is called “The Lone Star State” and only has 1 star on its flag. Count the points on that star.
 
Little kids: If a cowboy is riding a horse next to a cow, how many legs do the 3 of them have all together? Bonus: If 1 cow needs 10 acres of land to walk around and eat, how many acres do 3 cows need?
 
Big kids: Another famous Texas animal is the 9-banded armadillo. How many bands would be in a group of 9 9-banded armadillos? Bonus: Believe it or not, both armadillos and cows are good at jumping. If an armadillo jumps 3 feet, a cow jumps 6 feet, and you jump in the exact middle of those 2 heights, how high do you jump?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: 5 points.
 
Little kids: 10 legs:  2 human + 4 horse + 4 cow legs. Bonus: 30 acres of land, because 10 + 10 + 10 = 30.
 
Big kids: 81 bands. Bonus: You jump 4 1/2 feet high. The difference between the cow and armadillo’s height is 3 feet, so you jump 1 1/2 feet higher than the armadillo and 1 1/2 feet lower than the cow. 3 + 1 1/2 = 4 1/2.

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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 before she could walk, 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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