Sure, we oooh and aaah over cute kittens and bunnies…but what about cows? July 10 is National Cow Appreciation Day. These sweet, wide-eyed animals give us milk, cheese, ice cream – and lots of math. Cows’ noses can smell things from 5 miles away, and their stomachs have 4 parts to digest the scratchy grass they eat. Most amazing is that America’s 110,000 dairy farms milk a total of 9 million cows every day! So let’s thank our furry farm friends for that tasty ice cream.
Wee ones: If you count 3 cows coming down the street, then see 1 more, what number is that cow?
Little kids: If you and your pet cow go for a walk, how many legs do you have together? Bonus: If you’re counting off the 25 gallons milked from a cow, what are the last 3 numbers you say?
Big kids: If 9 million cows each make 10 gallons of milk a day on average, how many gallons do they make all together in one day? Bonus: If a crowd of people and cows hangs out on a hill, and there are twice as many cows as people and 50 legs in total, how many of each mammal are there? (Hint if needed: If you put them in small equal groups, how many total legs would that group have?)
Wee ones: Cow #4.
Little kids: 6 legs. Bonus: 23, 24, 25.
Big kids: 90 million. Bonus: 5 people and 10 cows. If there are twice as many cows as people, then each person has 2 cows with him, and each of those sets has 10 legs. For 50 legs total, there must be 5 groups like that.