What do you like to draw? Have you ever drawn a bird? Well, today is your big chance, because it’s Draw a Picture of a Bird Day. That means exactly what it sounds like, so grab some paper and crayons or a sidewalk and some chalk, and try it out! When you draw anything, you’re making lots of decisions without even realizing it: what thing to draw, what drawing tools to use in what colors, and how big a picture to draw. Luckily, on Draw a Picture of a Bird Day it doesn’t have to be a bird you saw today, so any kind of bird can work!

*Wee ones:** *This bird drawing uses circles. Take a pencil, pen, crayon or marker, and draw 3 circles of different sizes. Point to the smallest one!

*Little kids:* Groups of birds aren’t always called “flocks.” If you draw a “parliament” of 5 owls and a “gaggle” of 4 geese, how many birds do you draw altogether? *Bonus:* If you and 2 friends all draw penguins, and each of you draws 1 cute pair of them, how many penguin *feet* do you draw altogether?

*Big kids: * If you draw a 6-inch tall penguin and real penguins of that type are 38 inches tall, how much shorter is your drawing than a real penguin? *Bonus:* If you draw an ostrich at 1/2 its real height, and ostriches are 7 feet tall, how tall is your ostrich drawing in inches? (*Hints if needed:* A foot has 12 inches…and if you’re multiplying by 12 first, that’s like multiplying the number by 10, then multiplying the same number by 2 and adding that piece.)

*The sky’s the limit: *How many 11-inch-long sheets of paper do you need to tape together end to end to draw a full 7-foot ostrich on paper, if the pages overlap 1 inch at each end?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Try to draw 3 nice round circles, and find the smallest one!

*Little kids:* 9 birds. *Bonus: *12 penguin feet, since you draw 6 penguins (3 pairs) in total.

*Big kids:* 32 inches shorter. *Bonus:* 42 inches, since it’s half of 84. Or you can say your ostrich is 7 “half-feet” and a half-foot is 6 inches…and 7 x 6 is 42.

*The sky’s the limit:* You need 9 sheets, not 8. The first sheet gives you 11 inches, and each sheet after that adds just another 10 inches since 1 inch overlaps (you cutout each overlap for just 1 sheet, not both). That gives us 11, 21, 31, 41, 51, 61, 71, 81…so we need a 9th sheet to stretch past 84 (to 91 inches).

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.