When you draw a picture of some creature, wouldn’t it be cool if it could come to life and hang out with you? That’s just about what happened in this story from our fan Laurel P. When folks built a new merry-go-round in the Boston area, artist Jeff Briggs asked kids to draw their favorite animals from the wildlife around them. Then he turned their pictures into clay shapes, which became the seats on the merry-go-round! This shows a drawing of a lobster that then became a lobster you can ride. Other New England animals included turtles, seals, and hawks. Not your usual merry-go-round horses!
Wee ones: A lobster has 8 legs, while you have 2. Who has more?
Little kids: If the merry-go-round has a seal, then a turtle, then a seal, then a turtle, then a seal…what next 3 animals would keep the pattern? Bonus: In a set of 10, how many would be turtles?
Big kids: If the merry-go-round has an inner ring of 18 animals, a ring of 20 animals in the middle, then 22 animals on the outside, how many does it have — and what’s a shortcut to add them? Bonus: If the inside ring always has 2 fewer animals than the middle ring, and the outer has 2 more than the middle, how many in each ring would add up to 90 animals?
Wee ones: The lobster has more legs.
Little kids: Turtle, seal, turtle. Bonus: 5 turtles (half the total).
Big kids: 60 animals. If you moved 2 animals out of the outer ring into the inner one, you’d have 20+20+20. Bonus: 28 animals, then 30, then 32…and 30 more people get to ride!
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.