A Butterfly You Can Eat

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.

A Butterfly You Can Eat

March 4, 2019

Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat a *live* butterfly! These are chocolate butterflies, first made by the chef Pioneer Woman. How do you make one? First, you draw a butterfly on wax paper. Then you ooze melted chocolate along the lines of the design. Finally, Hannah at We Lived Happily Ever After thought of drying the butterfly on top of a book, to give it curved wings like its real cousins. You can place these chocolaty critters on top of cakes, cupcakes, or any other tasty snack. The question is, do you have enough chocolate to make these for everyone who wants one?

Wee ones: Butterflies fly high. What’s the tallest spot in your room where a butterfly could land? (not including the ceiling)

Little kids: If you’ve made 1 chocolate butterfly, how many more butterflies do you need to top 6 cupcakes total?  Bonus: If each butterfly has 2 wings, how many wings do those new butterflies have?

Big kids: If you place a gooey butterfly on the book at 1:50 pm, and it takes 10 minutes to harden, when is it done?  Bonus: If each butterfly needs 3 squares of chocolate and you have 34 squares, how many butterflies can you make?

The sky’s the limit: If each butterfly wing has 3 veins (sticks) coming from the center, and each of those splits into 3 smaller veins, and each of THOSE splits into 3, how many vein pieces do you draw in chocolate for the whole butterfly? (Each set of 3 counts as new, different pieces from the one that split.)










Wee ones: Spots might include curtains, a bedpost, or the top of a lamp.

Little kids: 5 more butterflies.  Bonus: 10 wings.

Big kids: At 2:00 pm.  Bonus: 11 full butterflies, since that will use 33 squares; you’ll have fewer than 3 squares left.

The sky’s the limit: 78 veins. On each side you make 3 veins, which split into 9 more in total, which then split into 27. That gives you 3+9+27, or 39 on each side. Then 39 x 2 gives you 78 total.

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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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