Tortoises are pretty tough. They can live over 200 years, and can go 2 to 3 years without even eating! Even so, a family in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was shocked when in their backyard shed they found their lost pet tortoise from 30 years ago, still alive and well. Manuela got lost one day when movers left the family’s front door open, and Manuela must have wandered out. How did she live for so long without help? She probably ate termites and other bugs, and drank water by licking “condensation” (the water droplets that show up on cold surfaces) off things in the shed. Manuela is a tough nut, but we bet she’s happy to be back in the house.
Wee ones: If you could last for 2 years without eating and you start now, how old will you be when you eat again?
Little kids: If Manuela is 50 years old right now, how old will she be a year from now? Bonus: If instead Manuela went missing 30 years and that was half her life, how old is she now?
Big kids: If you have a pet dog and a pet tortoise who’s 100 years older, and together their ages add up to 120, how old is each one? Bonus: If instead you have a pet tortoise who’s 12 times as old as you, how old is your tortoise?
Wee ones: Different for everyone…add 2 to your age!
Little kids: 51 years old. Bonus: 60 years old.
Big kids: The dog is 10 years old and the tortoise is 110. Bonus: Different for everyone…multiply your age by 12!
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.