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Backyard Ninja

by Laura Overdeck

Have you ever wanted to be a ninja? Ninja were secret warriors in Japan hundreds of years ago (and maybe even today — it’s a secret). A ninja has to leap, run and climb super-fast and super-quietly. Well, one girl decided she wanted to practice to become a ninja. So her very cool dad built her a giant ninja training course in their backyard. She has to jump through a set of slanted boards, balance on wobbly, seesawing beams, and dash over the roofs of not one but two sheds. She finishes the course in about 2 1/2 minutes. Do you think you could do it faster? If yes, you might be a ninja, too!

Wee ones: If you leap onto a slanted step facing left, then another facing right, then another facing left, then facing right…which way does the next one face?

Little kids: If you’re 10 seconds from finishing the ninja course, what numbers do you say to count down?  Bonus: If there were 9 slanted steps for her to zigzag through, starting facing left, then right, then left and so on, how many slants would face each way?

Big kids: If the whole thing takes 2 1/2 minutes, how many seconds does it show on the stopwatch when she’s done?  Bonus: If the sheds took a whole 1/3 of that time, how many seconds would they take? (Hint if needed: What if they took just 1/3 of 15 seconds?)










Wee ones: It faces left.

Little kids: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 ,2, 1.  Bonus: 5 would face left, and 4 would face right.

Big kids: 150 seconds.  Bonus: 50 seconds.

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