Today is Easter Sunday, the day that Christians celebrate the rising of Jesus from the dead. Somehow, it also means fun, colorful Easter eggs and fluffy baby chicks. Why? The egg is a symbol of the empty stone tomb of Jesus: it is round and smooth like a stone, but life comes out of it. Real eggs hatch into chicks, and so we have the silly Easter treat called the “Peep.” These yellow marshmallow chicks first popped up in stores back in 1919. It used to take 27 hours to make just 1 chick by hand, but now machines crank out 5 MILLION peeps each day. They make 2 billion in a year, which if laid end to end would stretch around the Earth 3 whole times. Peeps are taking over the world!
Wee ones: These Peeps are yellow. Try to find 4 yellow things in your room.
Little kids: If you can fit 3 Peeps in each hand, how many Peeps can you hold at once? Bonus: If you eat 1 of those 6 Peeps, how many do you have left?
Big kids: If you eat a Peep on Easter Sunday, then on Wednesday, then on Saturday, then on Tuesday…what day do you eat a Peep next to keep the pattern? Bonus: If the Peep people make exactly 5 million peeps every day, does that reach 2 billion Peeps in a year? (Reminder if needed: There are 365 days in a year.)
Wee ones: Items might include shirts, socks, crayons, markers, or stuffed animal chicks!
Little kids: 6 Peeps. Bonus: 5 Peeps.
Big kids: On Friday, since you eat one every 3 days. Bonus: Not quite. 5 million Peeps per day comes to 1,825 million or 1,825,000,000, which is 1.825 billion — a little less than 2 billion.
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.