A Mini-Mini-Kangaroo

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.

A Mini-Mini-Kangaroo

August 27, 2017

Kangaroos think big. They can jump 9 feet high in the air and leap more than 20 feet in one jump, right over a whole car. The funny thing is, there’s another animal that’s just like a tiny kangaroo: the wallaby. The wallaby has pointy ears, big eyes, and a pouch on its tummy for carrying its babies, just like kangaroos. And the wallaby can jump, but not as far, since it can be as small as a rabbit. Scotty, a rescued baby tammar wallaby, is so small that he can sit in someone’s hand or inside a shoe. He weighs only 10 ounces (about 3-4 candy bars), and has to drink milk from an eye dropper. He lives on an island off Australia called Kangaroo Island, which is a good name for it: more than a million wallabies live there!

Wee ones: Baby kangaroos start small, too. Who weighs more, a 5-pound wallaby or a 4-pound baby kangaroo?

Little kids: If Scotty weighs 10 ounces and that shoe weighs 4 ounces, how much do they weigh together?  Bonus: One pound has 16 ounces in it. How many more ounces does the 10-ounce Scotty need to gain to weigh 1 pound?

Big kids: If Scotty weighed 9 ounces and doubled in weight twice in 2 months, how much would he weigh then?  Bonus: How many more times does he need to double to weigh at least 100 ounces?

The sky’s the limit: If a growing kangaroo can hop 11 times as far as a wallaby and that’s 90 inches farther than the wallaby, how far can each one jump?




Wee ones: The 5-pound wallaby.

Little kids: 14 ounces.  Bonus: 6 ounces.

Big kids: 36 ounces (or 2 pounds 4 ounces).  Bonus: Twice more, since he’d weigh 72 ounces after 1 doubling.

The sky’s the limit: The wallaby can hop 9 inches, and the kangaroo can jump 99. If the kangaroo can jump 11 times as far as the wallaby hop, that 9-inch hop is 1 part out of 11 equal parts of the jump, which means the 90 inches are the other 10 parts. So the gap of 90 inches is 10 times the wallaby’s hop, making it 9 inches.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.

More posts from this author