# The State You Can’t Miss

If you like to play hide ‘n’ seek, you already know this state’s name. That’s because we count out “One Mississippi, two Mississippi…” to give our friends enough time to hide. It’s a long name, and an even longer river. The Mississippi River makes up the squiggly western border of the state (the left side of it on a map). It’s so long that it takes a drop of water 90 days to flow from one end of the river to the other!

Turns out Mississippi also helps us keep our left and right straight. Way back when, a pair of shoes had two shoes that were exactly the same shape – you could just grab 2 shoes and put either one on either foot. But in 1884, Mississippi became the first place to sell boxed pairs of shoes, one shaped for the left foot and one for the right.

Little kids: If you have 3 pairs of shoes on the floor, what numbers do you say to count each shoe? How many shoes are there in total? Bonus: If you can fit 2 shoes in a shoebox, how many boxes do you need to hold 8 shoes?

Big kids: How many more consonants than vowels are in the name “Mississippi”? Bonus: It takes 90 days for a drop of water to travel the Mississippi River. If it takes you the same amount of time in a boat, how many times could you make that full trip in 1 year? (Assume you can fly back to the starting point without losing any days!)

The sky’s the limit: Blues music is another Mississippi invention! A classic blues song fits a pattern called the “12-bar blues” that plays 3 different chords over 12 bars. If the chords go: A, A, A, A, D, D, A, A, E, D, A, E, and you play 120 total chords, how many more A chords are played than E chords?