The Real Big Apple

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.

The Real Big Apple

July 25, 2019

It’s the only state named after a president…but George Washington was known for a cherry tree, and Washington state is all about apples. What’s that all about? The Evergreen State grows almost 3 million tons of apples every year, which is more than 10 *billion* apples. If lined up side by side, they would circle the earth 29 times! Of course, this also means lots of apple trees – and squirrels. To keep the squirrels safe off the road, the town of Longview has a 60-foot-long bridge called “Nutty Narrows” that connects 2 trees on either side of a busy street. Squirrels and people both love the bridge so much that the town has built 2 more.
 
Wee ones: If you have a Gala, a Fuji, and a Cameo apple, how many apples do you have?
 
Little kids: If Washington grows 6 out of every 10 apples in America, how many apples out of 10 do the other states grow? Bonus: For tonight’s dinner a squirrel grabs 3 apples and twice as many acorns as apples. How many pieces of food does it grab?
 
Big kids: If 24 squirrels leave their home tree and cross the bridge to the other side, then half of them go back home, then half of that home crowd leaves again to cross to the other side, how many squirrels are on the other side now? Bonus: If starting at 5:00pm a new squirrel gets on the bridge and takes 20 seconds to cross, and the bridge can hold only 1 squirrel at a time, what’s the earliest time that 24 squirrels can get across?
 
The sky’s the limit: If a group of people and squirrels are crossing a bridge, and there are 8 times as many squirrel feet as people sneakers on the bridge, and 42 sneakers on the bridge, how many squirrels are there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Answers:
Wee ones: 3 apples.
 
Little kids: 4 out of 10. Bonus: 9 pieces, since we have 3 apples + 6 acorns.
 
Big kids: 18 squirrels. 24 crossed over, then 12 left (leaving 12 there), then half of the 12 who went home (6 squirrels) came back, giving us 12 + 6. Bonus: 5:08 pm. At 20 seconds each, 3 squirrels can cross each minute since 1 minute = 60 seconds. Then 24/3 = 8 sets of squirrels = 8 minutes.
 
The sky’s the limit: 84 squirrels. Since squirrels have 4 feet and people have just 2, it takes 4 squirrels to have 8 times as many feet as a person (16 feet vs. 2 feet). 42 sneakers means there are 21 people (42/2), and then 21 x 4 = 84.

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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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