Well, our next state is actually called Maryland, not merry land. But there are plenty of reasons to be happy we’re here! Maryland is one of just 6 states with an official “crustacean”: the blue crab. Even though it’s a small state, half our country’s blue crabs come from Maryland. Lots of Maryland restaurants have huge sculptures of crabs on their roofs, big enough to see from a hot air balloon. And in fact, the first American to fly in a hot air balloon was a 13-year-old kid named Edward Warren. He took off from Baltimore, Maryland in 1784. Edward got to fly because he was much lighter than the balloon’s grown-up owner. Whether you have 8, 2, or 0 legs on the ground, you’ll feel lucky to be here!
Wee ones: Does an 8-legged crab have more legs than you?
Little kids: If you take your pet crab for a walk on the beach, how many legs do you have all together? Bonus: How many human friends would have to join you to have as many people legs as crab legs?
Big kids: If Edward Warren flew 78 feet up into the air, many yards high did he fly? (Reminder: A yard has 3 feet.) Bonus: For how many years have we had hot air balloons flying in America? (Reminder: That first flight was in 1784.)
Wee ones: Yes, because 8 is more than 2.
Little kids: 10 legs. Bonus: 3 friends, because you include your own 2 legs in the count, and 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8.
Big kids: 26 yards. To divide by 3 more easily, you can break 78 into 2 smaller numbers and divide them by 3: 78 is 60 + 18, and 60 / 3 = 20 while 18 / 3 = 6. Then put it together: 20 + 6 = 26. Bonus: 235 years.
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.