Fruit Fight

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.

Fruit Fight

September 16, 2017

What kind of crazy tree is that? A peach on a tree shouldn’t have a cherry hanging next to it!  Well, a guy named Sam Van Aken created trees that grow lots of kinds of fruit. He “grafts” pieces of different trees, meaning he cuts off one tree’s branch and ties it to a cut in another tree, maybe its trunk. If the two plants are similar enough, they grow together to become one happy tree. Sam chose stone fruits, like peaches and cherries, because those fruits are enough alike. It’s like someone giving you a rabbit’s ears or an anteater’s nose — and thankfully, that wouldn’t work. But this tree trick works, and Sam’s trees can grow 40 types of fruit. Now you can do all your fruit-picking in one spot!

Wee ones: If Sam’s tree can grow peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, and apricots, how many types of stone fruit is that?

Little kids: If you try your favorite 3 types of fruit today and 4 more types tomorrow, how many types have you tried?  Bonus: If a tree grows 40 fruits, how would you count those up by 10s?

Big kids: If the tree grows 40 kinds of fruits and 5 of each are ripe, how many pieces of fruit are ready for you to pick?  Bonus: If you pick a new fruit type each day, then after finishing the 40 you start over in the same order, how many full times will you cycle through all fruit types in 1 year? (Reminder: A year has 365 days, a leap year has 366.)




Wee ones: 5 types of fruit.

Little kids: 7 types.  Bonus: 10, 20, 30, 40.

Big kids: 200 pieces of fruit.  Bonus: 9 full cycles, since that brings you to 360 and you can’t then fit another cycle.

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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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