(Note to parents: As we do on special holidays, today we’ve included an extra math problem about Easter, for those who celebrate or would like to learn more about the day. Enjoy!)
Today is Easter Sunday, the day that Christians celebrate the rising of Jesus from the dead. On this holiday we also mix in a lot of fun, playful stuff, like fluffy chicks and Easter bunnies carrying eggs. But even that egg is very serious and special. It’s a symbol of the empty stone tomb of Jesus: an egg is round and smooth like a stone, but life comes out of it. Others say it’s like the stone rolled away to open His tomb. For centuries people didn’t eat eggs during the 40 days of Lent for that reason, and some people still follow that rule. So it’s no surprise that people started Easter egg hunts to celebrate Easter at the end of Lent. Best of all, the eggs you find sometimes have candy inside them — and as we see here, the treats can add up fast.
Wee ones: If you find a blue egg, then a yellow, then a green, then back to blue, then yellow…what color do you think you find next?
Little kids: If you find a blue egg, then a yellow, then a green, then back to blue to repeat, what color is the 8th egg? Bonus: If each of the 8 eggs has 2 candies inside, how many candies in total did you get?
Big kids: If the Easter Bunny hides 4 purple eggs, twice as many pinks as purples, and 3 times as many blues as pinks, how many eggs is that all together? Bonus: If 1/2 the eggs have a jelly bean and a chocolate egg inside, while the other half have 2 jelly beans, how many jelly beans are hidden in the eggs?
The sky’s the limit: The Easter Bunny has to keep secret how many eggs he hid. But he can tell you that if you multiply that number by itself, add 9, and then subtract 2, you get 56. How many eggs did the Easter bunny hide?
Wee ones: Green.
Little kids: Yellow. Bonus: 16 candies.
Big kids: 36 eggs, since you have 4 purple, 8 pink and 24 blue. Bonus: 54 jelly beans!
The sky’s the limit: 7 eggs.
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.