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.

May 31, 2018

Did you know that your ears and nose “grow” your whole life? If you don’t believe it, just check out your grandpa’s nose next to your own. Inside your ears and nose is a rubbery material called cartilage. Cartilage is like clay or plastic: it pops back into place after you poke it, but it can change shape. Some ocean animals like sharks have skeletons made of cartilage to help them swim faster. Since we humans don’t live underwater, our legs need strong bones to hold us up — but our noses and ears don’t. So they are partly made of cartilage. The cartilage doesn’t actually grow, though. It just has gravity pulling down on it your whole life, so over the years, your ears and nose sag more and more. Good thing we can’t live for 300 years, or we’d be tripping over our noses.

Wee ones: If you and Grandpa are eating lunch, how many noses and ears are at the table?

Little kids: If you, your grandpa and your dog are having a snack, how many more ears than noses are there?  Bonus: How many ears and noses are there all together?

Big kids: Say your nose “grows” 2 millimeters a year. How many years would it take to grow 26 millimeters, which is about 1 inch?  Bonus: If for some horrifying reason your nose could stretch 1/2 inch every year, and your nose is 4 feet off the ground right now, how long until your nose can touch the ground?

The sky’s the limit: Say you have a pile of things on the table and all of them can be sensed — you can at least see, hear or smell each one. If all you know about the objects is:
1 can be seen but not heard
3 can be heard but not smelled
2 can be smelled but not seen
3 can be seen *and* heard
4 can be heard *and* smelled
…what’s the smallest number of total objects you can have?