Why do koalas hug trees? To cool off! Scientists saw that koalas always hug acacia trees, even though they eat eucalyptus tree leaves. The acacia tree trunks are up to 9 degrees cooler than the air around them. As the weather got hotter, the koalas slid farther down to thicker parts of the trunk, which are cooler. So it turns out the cuddliest bears are also the coolest.
Wee ones: What’s the biggest thing you can get your arms around? Find it (or him or her) and give a big hug!
Little kids: If a koala hugs you with all 4 legs, and you hug back with your 2 arms, how many hugging limbs are there in total? Bonus: If a koala has nibbled on 8 eucalyptus trees, what numbers are the next 2 trees?
Big kids: If a koala climbs 28 feet up a tree, then slides halfway down for fun, how high off the ground is the koala now? Bonus: Scientists study a lot of animals to make sure there’s a pattern. If they studied 84 koalas and all but a quarter of them hugged trees, how many treehuggers were there?
Wee ones: Items could include a giant pillow, stuffed animal, bean bag…or Mom or Dad!
Little kids: 6 limbs (arms/legs). Bonus: 9 and 10.
Big kids: 14 feet. Bonus: 63 koalas, because 21 of them didn’t hug.