A Month of Power-Eating

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 Month of Power-Eating

August 7, 2017

Can you imagine waiting 11 *months* to eat? That’s life for the arctic woolly bear moth. While many animals “hibernate,” or sleep through winter to survive the cold, Arctic moths also sleep most of the summer. They spend 95% of their lives frozen, and wake up just for June. Then they have to do all their eating for the year in just 3-4 weeks. When they’re done feasting, they wrap themselves in a cocoon until the next summer. In this photo the moth is still a cute, fuzzy caterpillar; it takes 7 to 14 years of this weird life to eat enough to turn into a moth with wings. As humans, we’re very lucky to eat every day.

Wee ones: If a fuzzy caterpillar just became a moth at 9 years old, is it older or younger than you?

Little kids: If that 9-year-old moth’s buddy took 1 year longer to become a moth, how old is the buddy?  Bonus: If you spent the month of June eating and slept the rest of the year, how many months each year would you sleep?

Big kids: If you got a pet arctic woolly bear caterpillar today and it became a moth 14 years from now, how old would you be then?  Bonus: What fraction of your life do you spend eating compared to these caterpillars? If you eat 3 meals a day and spend 1 hour on each, what fraction of your day (and your life) is that?




Wee ones: Different for everyone…talk about whether you’re older or younger than 9 years.

Little kids: 10 years old.  Bonus: 11 months.

Big kids: Different for everyone…add 14 to your age.  Bonus: 1/8, since it’s 3 hours out of 24 hours in a day.

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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 while still in diapers, 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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