This mama duck and her ducklings look like they should be swimming on a lake. But they’re happy: They’re walking to the pizzeria next door to Bedtime Math. Ducks normally lay between 7 to 12 eggs at once, so this is a big family. Ducks normally have to catch their food, eating fish, plants, worms, and bugs. But eating a slice of pizza sounds a lot easier — and yummier.

*Wee ones:* If the mama duck takes 6 ducklings to pizza and the daddy duck takes 5 ducklings out for ice cream, which duck took more ducklings?

*Little kids:* How many ducklings can you count in the picture? How did you go about counting them? *Bonus: *If there were 9 ducks here including the mama, how many ducklings would there be?

*Big kids:* If 100 ducklings walk down the street, and 1 duck goes into the pizzeria, then 4 more, then 9 more…what number comes in next to keep the pattern? *Bonus: *What number comes in after that — and can you tell what is special about these numbers? (*Hint if needed:* What numbers can you multiply together to make each of those numbers?)

*The sky’s the limit:* If some number of ducks goes in for pizza, then double that number walks in the 2nd set, then double *that* number for the 3rd round, and there are now 56 ducks in there, how many ducks walked in in the 1st round?

Answers:*Wee ones:* The mama duck, with 6.

*Little kids:* We count 13 ducklings…see if you can find them all! *Bonus:* 8 ducklings.

*Big kids:* 16 ducks, since you started with 1, then added 3, then added 5…now you add 7. *Bonus:* 25, and what’s cool is that these are the “perfect squares”: 1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 4 x 4, and 5 x 5. The pattern works forever!

*The sky’s the limit:* 8 ducks. Each duck that walks in is followed by 2 more ducks, then 4 more ducks. So they enter in sets of 7. 7 goes into 56 8 times, so there are 8 sets. We have 8 ducks, then 16, then 32, which all adds up to 56.