Skater Mouse

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.

Skater Mouse

August 21, 2018

These mice look like they have a lot to talk about. And they don’t just stand around on skateboards: they really know how to ride them! Shane Willmott has been training mice to surf and skateboard for over 30 years. He says mice are great at both activities, because their bodies are low to the ground. After all, can you imagine a giraffe trying to surf? It also turns out that mice have great balance so they don’t fall off. Shane has trained them to ride skateboards down tall ramps into the air through rings of fire. Oddly, the mice seem to think it’s fun. They must be brave – just imagine if you rode a skateboard off a ramp 10 times as tall as you!

Wee ones: Point to the mouse on your right.  Now point to the mouse on your left!

Little kids: If a skateboarding mouse gets 3 practice runs down the ramp before his real race, how many times does the mouse ride down the ramp?  Bonus: If out of 8 mice, the number of mice who’d rather skateboard is 2 more than the number who’d rather surf, how many mice would rather skateboard? (Remember, the surfers and skateboarders together add up to 8.)

Big kids: How many tiny wheels do you need to build 4-wheel skateboards for 5 mice?  Bonus: Ifyou rode off a ramp 10 times as tall as you are, how high would that ramp be? You can answer in feet, or feet and inches if you like!

The sky’s the limit: If 1/3 of a group of skateboarding mice ride on just 2 legs, while the rest ride on 4 legs, how many mice are there in total if there are 30 legs on the boards?









Wee ones: The mouse on your right is the one who’s tan and squinting; the mouse on the left is the grey wide-eyed one.

Little kids: 4 times.  Bonus: 5 mice like to skateboard, while 3 like to surf.

Big kids: 20 wheels.  Bonus: Different for everyone…multiply your height either in feet or inches by 10. If you do inches, you can then peel off multiples of 12 to turn that into feet and inches.

The sky’s the limit: 9 mice. If 1/3 the mice are showing off standing on 2 legs, then each show-off has 2 buddies who are on 4 feet. That means their 2 legs and those 8 other legs make a set of 10 legs for each show-off mouse. If there are 30 legs, there must be 3 show-off mice.  That’s 1/3 of the total, so there are 9 mice in total.

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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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