Bed of Flowers – for Real

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.

Bed of Flowers – for Real

July 5, 2018

When you plant a whole lot of roses, tulips or any other flower in one place, we call that a bed of flowers. But usually we don’t put a real bed around them! The folks at the Well Sweep Herb Farm in New Jersey decided to have some fun with this. They carried a bed frame out onto the lawn, and filled the area with dirt. It looks like they put plastic along the sides to hold the dirt inside. Then they planted what might be petunias, violets, sweet allysum and maybe single marigolds. There are no roses, but if someone ever tells you you’re “sleeping on a bed of roses,” it means you’re living a very easy, peaceful life. Of course, roses have thorns, so this bed here might be a better one for taking a nap.

Wee ones: How many flower blossom colors can you count in the picture?

Little kids: If you plant 3 yellow tulips, 2 red tulips and a white tulip, how many tulips have you planted in your bed of flowers?  Bonus: If you pick the 2 red ones but then plant 4 orange ones, now how many are still planted?

Big kids: If you plant 6 rows of flowers with 4 in each row inside the bed, how many have you planted?  Bonus: How many flowers in that line-up don’t touch any edge of the bed?

The sky’s the limit: If you have 36 daisies to plant in your bed of flowers, how many different ways can you line them up in equal rows, if there are always at least as many flowers running from head to foot as across?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: We count 4 colors: white, purple, pink and yellow.

Little kids: 6 tulips.  Bonus: 8 tulips.

Big kids: 24 flowers.  Bonus: 8 flowers, since there are 4 flowers from head to foot and 2 from side to side that don’t touch any edge, making a 4 x 2 rectangle.

The sky’s the limit: There are 5 ways to plant them:
1 long row of 36 flowers
2 rows of 18
3 rows of 12
4 rows of 9
and 6 rows of 6.

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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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