The Cat That Counts

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.

The Cat That Counts

November 2, 2018

cat-fitbit-chartHave you ever counted up the number of steps you take in a day? It’s easy to lose count, since you take thousands by nighttime. To make the counting easier, two guys named James Park and Eric Friedman invented the FitBit, a little electronic counter you clip onto your clothes. Every time you take a step, it feels the bounce and adds 1. Well, another guy named Pearce decided to strap a Fitbit onto his cat, Java, to find out how much he walks. After all, cats take long naps, but when they’re awake they run all over the place. This picture shows a yellow line for each 15-minute chunk of the day, showing how many steps were taken then. You can spot the busy times and the sleepy times right away. What do you think your step picture would look like?

Wee ones: Point to the 2 tallest bars, showing the times when Java walked the most.

Little kids: What gray number is below the tallest bar on the left? At about what time was Java really moving? (Hint: The 00 is midnight!)  Bonus: Java also ran around from 6:00 in the morning till about 10:00 in the morning. About how many hours long was that stretch?

Big kids: If Java takes 200 steps every 15 minutes, how many steps does he take in 1 hour?  Bonus: Java takes about 6,000 steps a day. If you take 2 1/2 times as many , how many steps does that make for you?











Wee ones: Point to the 2 tallest bars! One is over on the left, and one closer to the middle.

Little kids: 04, which is 4:00 in the morning. Not sleepy!  Bonus: About 4 hours.

Big kids: 800 steps in an hour.  Bonus: 15,000 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 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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