# The Trees You Eat for Breakfast

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 Trees You Eat for Breakfast

March 21, 2020

When you drizzle real maple syrup onto your pancakes, you probably use just a few tablespoons. What’s amazing is that bottle of syrup came from gallons of maple tree sap! This month the maple tree farms collect maple sap from their trees. They drill holes in the bark and stick a “tap,” or tube, into the tree. As the sap runs up the inside of the tree trunk, some of it drips out through the taps into buckets. Then the farm folks cook the sap until almost all the water boils away, leaving behind thick, yummy syrup. The thing is, they have to boil down 30 to 50 gallons of sap to make just 1 gallon of syrup! To get that sap, the farm has to tap a huge area of trees. One farm we talked to makes 600 gallons of syrup a year from its 20 acres of forest, which have thousands of trees. It’s much easier for us to fit a bottle of syrup in the fridge!

Wee ones: If you eat 4 waffles and 3 pancakes, of which food did you eat more?

Little kids: If you drizzle syrup into the 1st square hole in your waffle, then the 3rd, then the 5th, then the 7th…what number hole gets syrup next?  Bonus: What number is the 10th hole that gets syrup?

Big kids: If you use 3 tablespoons of syrup on your pancakes, and it took 40 times as much sap to make that, how many tablespoons of sap made your breakfast syrup?  Bonus: To imagine what that would look like, about how many cups is that? (A cup has 16 tablespoons.)