Tomatoes are red, carrots are orange, and bananas are yellow, right? Well, what do you do with a yellow tomato or a purple carrot? You line them up in a rainbow to make amazing pictures like this one. Photographer Brittany Wright gathered up all kinds of fruits and veggies, each in a whole range of colors, and laid them out by shade to make stripy designs, like these fun hot peppers. Did you know that carrots were never orange on their own until about 400 years ago? They were always red, purple, yellow, or white, until the Dutch blended red and yellow to make orange for their royal family, the House of Orange. Now orange carrots look just fine!
Wee ones: If the citrus picture has grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes, how many kinds of fruit is that?
Little kids: How many hot peppers can you count in the top picture? Bonus: If 5 of them have some green on their skin, how many don’t?
Big kids: A tomato photo on that page has 5 rows with 5 tomatoes in each. If you found 4 blue tomatoes to add on, how many would you have in total? Bonus: If you grab 12 carrots out of your fridge, and of those there are twice as many purple ones as orange ones (and no other colors), how many do you have of each color?
Wee ones: 4 kinds of fruit.
Little kids: 12 peppers. Bonus: 7 peppers.
Big kids: 29 tomatoes, up from 25. Bonus: There are 8 purple and 4 orange carrots. The purple counts as 2 sets of orange, plus another set of orange makes 3 sets. So each “set” has 4 carrots, and purple ends up having 8.
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.