Give Me a High Five — or Fifty

by Laura Overdeck

It’s a lot easier to have legs in pairs: 2 legs for people and birds, 4 legs for cats and bunnies, 6 legs for bugs. The one odd man out is the starfish. Most of these prickly, scratchy ocean friends have 5 legs, but there are over 1,800 types of starfish, and some can have up to 50 legs! That’s a lot of counting on toes.

Wee ones: Hold up 5 fingers to pretend your hand is a starfish!

Little kids: If you have a 5-legged starfish, a 12-legged starfish, and an 8-legged starfish, which one has the most legs?  Bonus: Which 2 starfish have 13 legs together?

Big kids: If you have a pile of pet starfish with either 5 or 8 legs, how many of each type must you have if they have 26 legs all together?  Bonus: If you stick 50 pet starfish on your 4 bedroom walls to decorate, can you put the same number of stars on every wall? If not, how many leftover starfish do you have? (Assume each star touches only 1 wall.)

Answers:
Wee ones: See if you can hold up 5 fingers!

Little kids: The 12-legged starfish.  Bonus: The 5-legged star and the 8-legged star.

Big kids: Two of the 5-legged ones (10 legs between them) and two of the 8-legged ones (16 legs between them).  Bonus: Not quite – you’ll have 12 on each wall, with 2 starfish left over.

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