Working Out with Wolves

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.

Working Out with Wolves

October 30, 2017

It’s one thing to run with your pet dog. It’s another to run with a wild wolf — and on exercise equipment! Scientists wondered whether wolves would get along better and share food more if they ran together. So they built the world’s longest “treadmill” for them. Treadmills have a wide, sliding floor, so you have to run on top of it to stay in place. The scientists then had to get the wolves and dogs to try the treadmill. They first trained them to sniff a piece of paper, then they put that paper on the treadmill with the belt turned off. Once the animals got used to that, the scientists turned on the belt at slow speed, then sped it up week by week. Now the dogs and wolves love it! We still have to see if the animals share better, but at least they’re all in great shape.

Wee ones: How many legs does a wolf have?

Little kids: If you, a wolf and a dog all run on the treadmill, how many legs do you have all together?  Bonus: If you and the wolf then share 6 hamburgers equally, how many burgers does each of you get?

Big kids: If the wolf starts running at 2:00 pm and runs for 2 1/2 hours, when does it stop?  Bonus:If the wolf can leap 5 feet at a time and the dog can leap 3 feet, which of them can leap from one end of the 30-foot treadmill to the other in fewer leaps — and how many leaps does it take?




Wee ones: 4 legs

Little kids: 10 legs.  Bonus: 3 burgers apiece.

Big kids: At 4:30 pm.  Bonus: The wolf takes fewer leaps, since the leaps are bigger — just 6 leaps compared to the dog’s 10.

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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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