Pancakes for Your Pets

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.

Pancakes for Your Pets

October 13, 2018

We people love pancakes. It turns out some tortoises do, too. They’re the round-shelled reptile stars of this video. While turtles live in water, their cousin the tortoise likes to eat grass, fruits and veggies. But when handed a stack of tiny little pancakes, these tortoises see that maybe life has yummier food choices. The big tortoise dives right in and munches away, but the little tortoise — who is shorter than his stack of pancakes — isn’t so sure. How would you feel if you were served a stack of pancakes that’s taller than you? Actually, you might dive right in, too.

Wee ones: What shape do you think these tiny tortoise pancakes are?

Little kids: If the big tortoise has 3 pancakes and the teeny tortoise has 3 of his own, how many do they have together?  Bonus: If the big guy eats all 3 pancakes and the little tortoise ends up eating 1, how many pancakes are left for you?

Big kids: If you can stack 10 people pancakes in a foot, how many pancakes would make a stack as tall as you? You can round your height to the nearest foot or half-foot for this one!  Bonus: If you’re handed a stack of 60 pancakes and are hungry enough for only 1/4 of them, how many do you eat?

The sky’s the limit: If a group of 4 big tortoises and 2 tiny tortoises eats 30 pancakes in total, and each big tortoise eats twice as many as each tiny tortoise, how much does each size tortoise eat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: A circle. Their 3D shape is actually a very short, wide cylinder.

Little kids: 6 pancakes.  Bonus: 2 pancakes.

Big kids: Different for everyone…round off your height, and add up 10 for every foot of height and another 5 pancakes for a half-foot.  Bonus: 15 of them.

The sky’s the limit: Each tiny tortoise eats 3 pancakes, and each big tortoise eats 6 pancakes. Since each big tortoise eats double a tiny tortoise, together 2 big tortoises eat 4 times as much as each tiny tortoise, and thus, 4 big ones together also eat 4 times as much as 2 tiny tortoises. That means the tiny tortoises’ set plus 4 more of these sets makes 5 sets of pancakes, which means the pair of tinies eats 6 pancakes. So each tiny tortoise eats 3, and each big one eats double that, which is 6 apiece.

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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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