Your Very Busy Shoes

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.

Your Very Busy Shoes

May 13, 2016

It’s Friday, the end of the school week — and we’re also getting close to the end of the school year. That means different things to different kids…school is cool, but it’s nice to take a break and have a fun summer. It’s also a great time to look back at the year: what you learned, what sports you played, what you did for your birthday. Or as our friend Pavitra S. asked, how many steps did we all take during school all year? And how many does a kid take from the start of kindergarten to the end of elementary school? Scientists have found that healthy kids take about 9,000 steps a day. But a lot of school time is spent sitting. That said, even if you take only 2,000 steps during school each day, it adds up fast even by the end of kindergarten!

Wee ones: If you step with your left foot, then your right foot, then your left, then your right…how many steps have you taken?

Little kids: If you took 9 thousand steps yesterday and 7 thousand today, on which day did you take more?  Bonus: If you take 2,000 steps at school each day, how many do you take in a regular school week (no holidays)?

Big kids: What’s your last day of school? See if you can figure out how many more school days you have without counting them one by one. (If you’re already out of school, how many days till June 21, the first day of summer this year?)  Bonus: If you have school 180 days a year, and you take 2,000 steps a day, how many steps do you take in 1 school year? (Hint if needed: Start with finding out what it would be with just 2 steps a day, then 20 per day, then 200…)




Wee ones: 4 steps.

Little kids: You took more steps yesterday.  Bonus: 10,000 steps.

Big kids: Different for everyone: starting with this coming Monday, add up 5 days for each full week, subtract Memorial Day and any other days off…and then add on days from any half-weeks. And for those counting down until summer, it’s 39 days.  Bonus: 360,000 steps. If you go to that school from K through 5th grade, you’ll do that for 6 full years, giving you 2,160,000 steps — more than 2 million! If you go through 6th grade (7 full years), you’ll take 2,520,000 steps.

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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 while still in diapers, 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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