When we say people are “acting like sheep,” it’s not really a compliment. Sheep don’t think for themselves: they are herd animals who just follow each other without asking questions. Since they aren’t smart, though, somebody has to tell them which way to walk. So we’re loving this video shared by our fan John O. Filmed from an airplane high above, it shows a giant herd of sheep streaming across the grass, making wild flowing shapes almost like water. You can see tiny sheepdogs (maybe border collies?) running around the group to chase them. How many sheep do you guess there are? That’s a lot of legs, a lot of baahs, and a lot of future sweaters.
Wee ones: Sheep are white. Try to find 4 white things in your room!
Little kids: How many more legs than you does a sheep have? Bonus: In a row of 9 sheep, which number sheep is the very middle one?
Big kids: If there are 400 sheep, and half of them flow through the fence into the next yard, how many more sheep are still behind? Bonus: If each minute after that, half of the sheep who are left pass through, how many still haven’t passed through the fence after 2 minutes?
The sky’s the limit: If there are 11 times as many sheep as dogs, and there are 600 animals in total, how many of each animal are there?
Wee ones: Items might include bedsheets, pillow cases, socks, sneakers, or sheets of paper.
Little kids: 2 more legs. Bonus: The 5th sheep.
Big kids: 200 sheep. Bonus: 50 sheep.
The sky’s the limit: If there are 11 sheep for each dog, the animals come in sets of 12. There are 50 12s in 600, so there would be 50 dogs and 550 sheep (which is in fact 50 x 11).
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.