Can That Cow Jump over the Moon?

by Laura Overdeck

Have you heard that rhyme, “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon”? Why a cow? It’s a weird idea, since cows aren’t the best jumpers…all kinds of animals jump a lot better. Red kangaroos are the fastest jumpers, leaping 30 to 40 feet at a time at over 30 miles an hour. The hare, a cousin of the rabbit, can zoom at 35 miles per hour and can leap 10 feet — incredible for its size. Some tree frogs can jump 20 times their length. But wait: the annoying flea is only about 1/16th inch long, but it can jump 13 inches, over 100 times its body length! None of these animals can jump 240,000 miles to the moon, but they all have a better shot than the cow.

Wee ones: Who jumps farther, the hare that leaps 10 feet or the kangaroo that leaps 30 feet?

Little kids: If a kangaroo can jump 30 feet, how many 10-foot jumps does the little hare have to do to match?  Bonus: If the kangaroo makes 2 leaps, how many jumps does the hare have to make to keep up?

Big kids: If you jumped 10 times YOUR height, how far would that be in inches? (Try rounding it off to feet, too, or measuring yourself!)  Bonus: If a 1/8th inch flea jumps 13 inches, how many times its body length can it jump? (Hint if needed: How many times its length does it jump for each inch?)




Wee ones: The kangaroo jumps farther.

Little kids: 3 jumps.  Bonus: 6 jumps.

Big kids: Different for everyone…take your own height in feet or inches, and multiply by 10.  Bonus: 104 times its body length.

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