When you eat dinner, usually you don’t want animals waiting to grab a bite from your plate. But at restaurants in Japan, people are hanging out with birds of prey on purpose. At owl-themed cafes, real live owls hang out on their perch, watch you eat, and flap around over your head. The chefs even make some of the food to look like owls…after all, owls are pretty cute, with those big round eyes and spiky feathers. If you don’t mind your meal looking back at you, it could be a tasty treat.
Wee ones: How many owls can you count in the top picture?
Little kids: If you need 3 teeny slices of food to make an owl eye, how many little slices do you need for 1 owl dessert? Bonus: How many eyes are needed for desserts for you and 3 friends?
Big kids: If a cafe serves 200 fish as sushi every day to its customers, and 300 fish to its “parliament” (flock) of owls, how many fish does the restaurant go through each day? Bonus: How many fish does the restaurant have to buy each week?
Wee ones: 1 owl.
Little kids: 6 slices. Bonus: 8 eyes.
Big kids: 500 fish. Bonus: 3,500 fish!
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.