Fingertip Frog

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.

Fingertip Frog

August 10, 2018

You may not believe it, but that cute, teeny frog on that coin is real. It’s smaller than a dime, a Cheerio from breakfast, or a cricket — when most frogs eat crickets for breakfast themselves! How did anyone find such a teeny frog? Two scientists, Christopher Austin and Eric Rittmeyer, were exploring a tropical forest when they heard a weird sound. They hunted through the forest floor, but couldn’t find the thing that was making the noise. Finally they just scooped up a bunch of leaves, stuffed them in a plastic bag, and took it home to look through it. Then the teeniest frog they had ever seen hopped out. Hopping is what this frog does best: it can leap 30 times the length of its own body. The best part is, if you want one as a pet, you can carry him around in your wallet.

Wee ones: Frogs usually have 4 “fingers” on each front foot. You have 5 fingers on each hand. Whose “hand” has more fingers?

Little kids: If 1 frog sits on a dime (10 cents) and another sits on a penny (1 cent), how many cents are the frogs sitting on all together?  Bonus: How many more frogs on pennies would you need to make 14 cents total?

Big kids: If your hand is 6 inches long, and you can line up 3 frogs in an inch, how many frogs could you line up on your hand?  Bonus: This tiny frog can leap 30 times its own length! If you could jump 30 times your length (height), how many feet would that be? (You can round your height to the nearest foot or half-foot…or try it in inches! Hint if needed: Multiplying by 30 is like multiplying by 3 and then by 10.)










Wee ones: You have more fingers.

Little kids: 11 cents.  Bonus: 3 more cents.

Big kids: 18 frogs.  Bonus: Different for everyone…multiply your height in feet or inches by 30.

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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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