Flowers That Count

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.

Flowers That Count

April 16, 2017

Note: As we do on special holidays, in honor of today we’re providing a second extra math problem about Easter, for those who celebrate or would like to learn more about it. Scroll down to see it!

Spring is here, and that means our friends the flowers are just around the corner. What’s cool is that some flowers do math without even knowing it! Sunflowers always have a certain numbers of petals — only some numbers can work. There’s a special set of numbers where you get each number by adding the 2 numbers before it. You start with 1 and 1, which gives you 2…then 2+1 is 3…then 3 plus that 2 gives you 5…5 plus that 3 gives 8, and so on. They’re called the Fibonacci numbers, and sunflowers always have a Fibonacci number of petals! Let’s see how big that flower can get.

Wee ones: If the first few Fibonacci numbers are 1, 2, 3 and 5, which number did we skip that we would have said if counting?

Little kids: If the last 2 Fibonacci numbers we got were 5 and 8, what’s the next number? (Reminder: You get each number by adding the previous two numbers.) Bonus: If you have a flower with that many petals and another with 5 petals, how many do they have together?

Big kids: Can a sunflower have 25 petals? Bonus: For fun we also have “Tribonacci” numbers, where you add the last 3 numbers to get the next. Since it also starts with 1, 1, and 2, what are the next 3 Tribonacci numbers? See if you can remember all the pieces in your head!

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: 4.

Little kids: 13. Bonus: 18 petals (13 + 5).

Big kids: No, because after 21 we add 21 + 13, which is 34. Bonus: 4, 7, and 13.

 

 

Big Ticket Bunny



It’s Easter, the day that Christians celebrate Jesus rising from the dead. So why do we also have fluffy Easter bunnies? Hundreds of years ago the Germans had the “Easter Hare,” a rabbit who checked whether kids were being naughty or nice during Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter). Today the Easter Bunny is our friend who brings candy and colorful eggs. So what better way to thank him than by making the world’s fanciest chocolate Easter bunny? This bunny, carved by chef Martin Chiffers, cost $49,000, not only because it was huge (11 pounds of chocolate), but also because it had 3 chocolate eggs covered in real gold and 2 real diamonds for eyes! That’s a bunny fit for a king.

Wee ones: If the bunny has 3 gold-covered eggs and 2 diamond eyes, how many round, non-chocolate, shiny pieces does the bunny have?

Little kids: If you accidentally eat 1 of the 3 gold eggs and 1 of the 2 diamond eyes, how many different egg-eye pairs could you have eaten? Bonus: If you normally get a 6-ounce chocolate Easter bunny, and this one weighs 176 ounces, how much more does this one weigh?

Big kids: If the diamonds together are worth $37,000, how much is the rest of the $49,000 bunny worth? Bonus: If you take 30 days to eat the bunny bit by bit and you start on Easter Sunday (counting as the 1st day), on what day of the week do you finish? See if you can get it without counting day by day!

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: 5 pieces.

Little kids: 6 different pairs: the 1st egg with each of the 2 eyes, then the 2nd egg with each of them, then the 3rd, giving us 2 + 2 + 2. Bonus: 170 ounces more, which is almost an extra 11 pounds!

Big kids: $12,000. Bonus: A Monday. The 1st Saturday with be the 7th day, and in fact all Saturdays will be multiples of 7 (14th, 21st, 28th). That means the 30th day will be 2 days after a Saturday, giving us a Monday.

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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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