Why Did the Duck Cross the Road?

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.

Why Did the Duck Cross the Road?

September 8, 2017

Every once in a while, we’re driving down a road and have to stop to let a family of geese cross, or a mama deer and her fawns, or maybe just a squirrel if you see him in time. Hopefully you won’t have to stop and wait for 50 or more ducks to waddle across. That’s what we see in this video, where a huge number of ducks take their merry time winding around a house, across its front yard and then across the street. The page doesn’t say where the ducks are going or why, or how they stay in such a nice neat line. But we like watching anyway — and counting.

Wee ones: Which has more ducks, a line of 8 ducks or a line of 6 ducks?

Little kids: If you and your pet duck take a walk, how many feet do you have together?  Bonus: If every 3rd duck quacks when it reaches the street, starting with the 3rd duck (and no other ducks quack), will the 8th duck quack?

Big kids: If 37 ducks march in this parade, how many webbed feet are marching?  Bonus: If every 3rd duck starting with the 3rd quacks when it reaches the street, and every 4th duck starting with the 4th wriggles its tail, which number ducks are the first 8 ducks to do an extra trick at the street?

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: The line of 8 ducks.

Little kids: 4 feet.  Bonus: It will not quack — the 6th and 9th ducks will.

Big kids: 74 duck feet.  Bonus: They will be the multiples of 3 and the multiples of 4, but remember, there’s overlap at 12! So the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th,12th, 15th and 16th ducks will either quack or wriggle (and both in the case of number 12).

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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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