Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world, towering 16 to 18 feet high. That’s more than twice as high as your bedroom ceiling! So the cute, fuzzy baby giraffe in this picture is way bigger than you think. Right at birth she’s already 6 feet tall — maybe taller than your own parents! Even crazier is how fast these long-necked babies learn to walk. We humans are already 9, 12, or even 18 months old when we walk on our own. But a lot of animals take their first steps less than an hour after being born. In the video this giraffe calf takes only 2 minutes to stand up, without any help from her mom. If a 2-minute-old human baby tried to race her, the baby giraffe would definitely win.
Wee ones: If the baby giraffe is 6 feet tall and the mama is 18 feet tall, which giraffe is shorter?
Little kids: If a 6-foot baby giraffe has a mama who’s 10 feet taller, how tall is the mama giraffe? Bonus: How much taller does the mama need to be to eat leaves 20 feet above the ground?
Big kids: If the baby giraffe was born at 7:40 pm and walked exactly 1/2 hour later, when did she walk? Bonus: Grown-up giraffes weigh a lot: the mama giraffes weigh about 1,800 pounds, while the dad giraffes weigh 3,500. Do 2 mama giraffes together weigh more or less than a daddy giraffe?
The sky’s the limit: If a giraffe’s patches are all perfect pentagons or hexagons, with equal numbers of each shape, and together they have 660 sides, how many of each shape patch does the giraffe have?
Wee ones: The baby giraffe is shorter.
Little kids: 16 feet. Bonus: 4 feet taller.
Big kids: At 8:10 pm. Bonus: They weigh more, but only by a little bit (3,600 pounds).
The sky’s the limit: 60 of each. Each pentagon-hexagon pair has 11 sides total, so to make 660 sides, there must be 60 sets of them.
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.