Moose on the Roof!

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.

Moose on the Roof!

March 11, 2019

Yes, moose are the biggest animals in the deer family, standing about 6 feet tall. Even so, you don’t expect to see one climb up on a roof! A woman in Canada spotted one confused moose walking around on top of a car shelter outside her house. Nobody could figure out how it got up there (or why it would want to). And probably no one wanted to ask it: moose weigh anywhere between 800-1,500 pounds, and can be mean. The woman called the police to help the moose, but the animal found a way down on its own. Did it jump?? We have no idea, but we’re glad that our new furry friend – and the roof, and the cars underneath – are all ok.  

Wee ones: If it took the moose 2 minutes to climb up on the roof and 9 minutes to get down, which took longer?

Little kids: If this moose is 6 feet tall, how much taller than you is that? Have a grown-up show you 6 feet on the wall, and compare. Bonus: If the car shelter roof was 10 feet off the ground, how high off the ground was the top of the moose?

Big kids: If this moose weighs 1,000 pounds and the car underneath weighs 3,200 pounds, what’s their combined weight? Bonus: If this roof can support 10,000 pounds, how many 1,200-pound moose (meese?) can climb up on it before it breaks? (Hint if needed: what if the roof could support just 100 pounds, and the moose only weighed 12 pounds?)

The sky’s the limit: If you have a group of 3,000-pound cars and 1,500-pound moose that weighs 21,000 pounds, and there are 8 more hooves than wheels in the group, how many moose and cars must there be?







Wee ones: It took longer for the moose to get down, because 9 is more than 2.

Little kids: Different for everyone. Bonus: 16 feet from the ground, since 10 + 6 = 16.

Big kids: 4,200 pounds. Bonus: 8 moose can climb onto the roof, because 8 x 1,200 = 9,600. 9 moose would weigh 10,800, which is too much moose for the roof.

The sky’s the limit: 6 moose and 4 cars. Since both cars and moose have 4 “feet,” the 8 extra hooves mean there must be 2 more moose than cars. From there, you can figure out that 1 car and 3 moose would not add up to 21,000 pounds, nor would 2 cars and 4 moose, nor 3 cars and 5 moose…but 4 cars = 12,000 pounds and 6 moose = 9,000 pounds.

That’s the trial-and-error way. If you want to solve using simple algebra, you know that the # of moose x moose weight + # of cars x car weight = 21,000. And moose = cars + 2, that is m = c + 2. So:

1,500m + 3,000c = 21,000

1,500 (c + 2) + 3,000c = 21,000

1,500c + 3,000 + 3,000c = 21,000

4,500c + 3,000 = 21,000

4,500c = 18,000

c = 4

Checking the answer: 4 x 3,000 = 12,000

m = c + 2 = 6, and 6 x 1,500 = 9,000

12,000 + 9,000 = 21,000.

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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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