The post Truth or Dairy appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Our next state’s borders include Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, but it’s famous for another liquid: milk! Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland,” and with more than 1.2 million milk cows, it’s easy to spot why. Those cows make enough milk to give 95 pounds of it to every American. Of course, milk doesn’t have to stay milk. It can be made into cheese, or even better, ice cream! So it’s not surprising that the ice cream sundae was born in this state. Back in 1881, a man named Edward Berners invented this treat and started selling them for a nickel. At first he made sundaes only on Sundays, but soon customers were begging for them every day of the week. And we can see why!

*Wee ones: *If you top your sundae with peanuts, chocolate syrup, and cherries, how many toppings is that?

*Little kids: *If you eat a piece of cheese, then a sundae, then a glass of milk, then cheese again to repeat the pattern…what’s the 8th thing you eat?* Bonus: *If it takes 12 pounds of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream, how many pounds would it take to make 1 gallon of vanilla ice cream and 1 gallon of chocolate ice cream?

*Big kids: *If a sundae costs $5.50 today, how much more money is that than the original 5-cent price? *Bonus: *How many times as expensive is it? (Hint if needed: $5.50 is 550 cents or pennies.)

Answers:

*Wee ones: *3 toppings.

*Little kids: *A sundae, which is the 2nd thing in each set of 3. *Bonus: *24 pounds.

*Big kids: *$5.45 more expensive. *Bonus: *It is 110 times as expensive, because 5 x 110 = 550.

On our next stop, we’ll climb some trees that are thousands of years older than us! Learn how you can join our Road Trip here!

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]]>The post A Boatload of Mail appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Alabama is famous for its football, but today we’re going to celebrate a lesser-known team sport: mail delivery. One town called Magnolia Springs has a crazy way to bring mail to people’s homes: by boat! The mailman rides down the river with letters and packages for the 180 houses along the river’s edge. The town started this more than 100 years ago, because back then boating was easier than driving on the muddy roads. The mailman does get some company: he’s seen plenty of alligators and swimming deer, and has even had fish jump right into his boat. It takes about 4 hours to drop off all the mail. But it must be a pretty fun job, because this guy has been doing it for 13 years!

*Wee ones:* If you get a letter on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, how many days did you get letters?

*Little kids:* If the mail carrier has 4 fish flop into his boat and then 1 flops back out into the river, how many fish are still in the boat? *Bonus:* If there are no fish, then 5 jump into the boat, then 2 jump back out, then 6 new fish jump in, then 1 jumps out, NOW how many fish do you have?

*Big kids:* If the mailman has 50 letters to deliver, but for 12 of them he accidentally gives the person a slimy fish instead of the letter, how many letters does he deliver like he’s supposed to? *Bonus:* If he gives a fish to every 3rd house starting with the 3rd, how many of the 180 houses get a bonus mail fish?

*The sky’s the limit:* If every boat mail carrier has worked exactly 13 years, how many mail carriers have there been since 1915? (We’re in 2019 right now.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 days.

*Little kids:* 3 fish.* Bonus:* 8 fish.

*Big kids:* 38 letters. *Bonus:* 60 houses get a fish.

*The sky’s the limit:* 8 mail carriers. 2019 – 1915 = 104, and 104 / 13 = 8.

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]]>The post The Maine Thing appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Maine is the only state whose name has just one syllable. Maine is also the only state that touches just one other state (New Hampshire). But our favorite thing about Maine is how much Mainers love dogs – and want to adopt them. A lady named Heather Hobby saves hundreds of dogs from the South and drives them to Maine for people who want a pet. She fits up to 40 dogs in her van. It’s a tough trip – she has to stop many times to let the dogs out to pee, poop, and pose for pictures (not all at the same time). When she shows up in Maine to give people their new pets, it’s like handing out presents. But how has she saved hundreds of dogs? The math will show us how!

*Wee ones: *Maine can get really chilly, and you know what? Earmuffs were invented there! Point to your own ears – how many are there? How many ears are in the room?

*Little kids: *If you take your new adopted pet dog for a walk, how many legs do you have all together? *Bonus: *Heather Hobby drives through as many as 9 states to bring her dogs to Maine. If you’re counting them down from 9 for her, what numbers do you say?

*Big kids: *If Heather has 35 (4-legged) dogs in the car, how many doggie paws are there? *Bonus**:*Heather makes this trip over and over. If she makes 1 trip per month with 40 dogs each time, how many dogs can she bring to Maine in 1 year?

*The sky’s the limit:* When Heather drops off the dogs, if there are the same number of people as dogs in the room and there are 42 legs, how many dogs and people are there?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Different for everyone! Most people have 2 ears, so it will depend on the number of people in the room.

*Little kids: *6 legs. *Bonus: *9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

*Big kids: *140 paws. One quick way to multiply by 4 is to double the number (70) and then double it again (140). *Bonus:* 480 dogs! There are 12 months in a year, so she can bring 12 x 40.

*The sky’s the limit:* 7 people and 7 dogs. Each person has 1 dog buddy (and each dog has 1 human friend), So each person-pup set has 6 legs together. Then we just have to find how many sets of 6 go into 42. 42/6 = 7 sets.

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]]>The post Get Your Bunza to a Runza appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>We all need snacks on a road trip, but some snacks (like apples) are easier to drag along than others (like piping hot soup). But what about a hot Runza? What is a Runza, anyway? It’s a tasty sandwich that Nebraska has been keeping secret from the rest of us. The bun is a doughy “bread pocket,” like a pita or calzone. The filling of beef, onions and cabbage (and whatever else you want to add) is held neatly inside. That means you can bring your Runza on the world’s wildest car ride without making a mess! You can also eat it while swinging – like on the world’s largest covered porch swing in Hebron, Nebraska. It’s 32 feet long, so you’ll want to bring some friends to help you get it moving.

*Wee ones:* Could you lie down on the world’s largest swing? Stretch out and measure your length, then compare it to the 32-foot long swing!

*Little kids:* If there are 5 of you in your car for your road trip, and everyone else has 1 Runza but you snuck in 2, how many Runzas are in the car?* Bonus:* If the largest porch swing can hold 24 kids or 18 adults, how many more kids than grown-ups can fit on it?

*Big kids:* If a Runza can hold 3 ingredients – beef, onions and cabbage – how many different ways can you layer them in the pocket? *Bonus:* What if you also throw in a slice of tomato? Now how many orders are there – and can you see a pattern for guessing at 5 ingredients without writing them all out?

*The sky’s the limit:* If the largest swing can hold 18 adults or 24 kids, and there are 15 adults on the swing, how many kids can you add?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* There’s definitely enough room on that swing to stretch out!

*Little kids:* 6 Runzas. *Bonus:* 6 more kids than grown-ups.

*Big kids:* 6 ways. There are 3 choices for your 1st layer: B, O or C. For each of those, there are 2 choices for the next layer, so you multiply by 2 to get 6…and then there’s only 1 thing left in each case, so you still have 6. *Bonus:* 24 ways for 4 ingredients. There are now 4 choices for your 1st layer – B, O, C or T – and each of those has 3 choices after it, giving you 4 x 3 = 2 possible pairs. For each of THOSE you have 2 choices, giving you 4 x 3 x 2…and then that sets the order since only 1 choice is left for the final slot. So we have 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24. That means 5 ingredients would have 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120 ways to stack them!

*The sky’s the limit:* 4 more kids. The 15 adults on the swing mean that it is 15/18 full. 15/18 can be simplified to 5/6. So 1/6 of the swing is still empty, so it can hold 1/6 of the 24 possible total kids, which is 4 kids. Another way to figure it out: 3/4 as many adults as kids can fit on the swing, so if there’s room for 3 more adults, there must be room for 4 more kids!

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]]>The post A Giant Leap for Frogs appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Time to put on your boots, because the next state on our road trip kind of looks like one. And they’ve got hops: Rayne, Louisiana is the “Frog Capital of the World.” Every year this town has a festival with frog-jumping competitions. They’ve had that nickname since the 1800s, when two businessmen were eating frogs’ legs (yes, that’s a real dish you can eat) and started selling them to restaurants in New York. Rayne has been excited about frogs ever since. They even sent 2 bullfrogs into outer space in 1970, so people could study how being way up there affected their balance. Rayne’s frog festival has been running since 1973…we just hope the frogs who lose the jumping contest don’t become tomorrow’s lunch.

*Wee ones: *Squat down on the floor, then hop forward 4 times like a frog. Count as you hop!

*Little kids:* Vowels are the letters a e i o u, and sometimes y. All other letters are “consonants.” Does “Louisiana” have more vowels or consonants? Count them up! *Bonus: *If you and your 2 pet frogs take a walk (or hop), how many legs do you all have together? (Reminder: A frog has 4 legs.)

*Big kids: *If a frog leaps 36 feet, another leaps 28 feet, and a 3rd lands exactly halfway between them, how far does the 3rd frog go? *Bonus: *If 1 frog makes 6 7-inch jumps and a 2nd frog makes 5 8-inch jumps, which frog jumped farther? And if a 3rd frog makes 4 9-inch jumps, what does that come to, and what do you see happening to the numbers?

*The sky’s the limit: *If a frog zooms into outer space on March 19 and comes back down to Earth on May 8, how many days was the frog on the rocket, including both the first and last days?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Hop 1, 2, 3, 4.

*Little kids: *It has more vowels: 6 vowels and just 3 consonants. *Bonus: *10 legs, which is 4 + 4 + 2.

*Big kids: *32 feet. *Bonus: *The 1st frog jumped farther: a total of 42 feet vs. 40. The 3rd frog would go 36 feet…as you spread apart the 2 numbers you’re multiplying, you get smaller answers. This is always true!

*The sky’s the limit: *51 days. March has 31 days and the frog was *not* on the rocket for the first 18, so 31-18=13 days in space, Then we add the 30 days of April and the 8 days of May.

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]]>The post The State at the Center of It All appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The next state on our trip is the Sunflower State, better known as Kansas. There’s some cool math happening here: the geographic center of the lower 48 states is in Kansas! Over 100 years ago, surveyors balanced a cardboard cutout of the U.S. on a pin, and found the center was near a town called Lebanon, Kansas. It’s also the middle of “America’s Bread Basket,” since Kansas grows more wheat than any other state. You know what a half-gallon of milk looks like? A “bushel” is more than 18 of those put together, and the 20,000 wheat farms in Kansas grow 333 million bushels of wheat every year. That’s 1/5 of all the wheat in the country, and could make 36 BILLION loaves of bread. Let’s see how fast all of America can eat that!

*Wee ones:* If you make a sandwich with peanut butter, jelly, and 2 slices of bread, how many layers are in the sandwich?

*Little kids:* Pretend you’re like that piece of cardboard balancing on a pin. Stand on 1 leg, and count until you tip over. See how high a number you can reach! *Bonus:* If you take 3 hours to drive from Topeka (Kansas’ capital) to Lebanon, spend 2 hours balancing on 1 leg at the center of the US, and drive back in the same time it took to drive there, how long does your trip take?

*Big kids:* If Kansas makes 1/5 of all the wheat in the country, and no state makes more than it, can another state make 1/4 of all the wheat in the country? *Bonus:* If the wheat from Kansas can make 36 billion loaves of standard sandwich bread, how many loaves could it make if a baker made the loaves 3 times the size of standard sandwich bread?

*The sky’s the limit:* If a standard loaf of bread has 2 dozen slices, how many 2-slice sandwiches can you make with your 110 loaves from Kansas?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 layers.

*Little kids:* Different for everyone…see how long you can stand on 1 leg! *Bonus:* 8 hours, because 3 + 2 + 3 = 8.

*Big kids:* No, because 1/4 is bigger than 1/5. Bonus: 12 billion loaves, because baking loaves 3 times as big will make 1/3 of the 36 billion loaves, and 36 / 3 = 12.

*The sky’s the limit:* You can make 1,320 sandwiches. Each loaf makes 1 dozen, or 12, sandwiches. Using partial products: 12 x 110 = 12 x 100 + 12 x 10 = 1200 + 120 = 1,320.

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]]>The post Leave It to Beavers appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>A pentagon has 5 sides, a hexagon has 6 sides, but how many sides does an Oregon have? Well, there are many sides to this state! About half the state is covered by forest, but there are also deserts, volcanoes, and the deepest lake in America. So it makes sense that Oregon’s flag is the only one with different designs on the 2 sides. The front side of the flag has the state seal and 33 stars, since Oregon is the 33rd state. The back side has a beaver, the official state animal. Unlike real life, the beaver on the flag is bright gold. Another unusual thing going on in Oregon are some of the town names, which include Fossil, Persist, Spray, Sodaville, Promise, Glide, Wonder, and Rainbow. There’s even a town called Boring – but don’t let that fool you!

*Wee ones: *If a triangle has 3 sides and a square has 4, which shape has more sides? Draw a triangle and then a square in the air with your finger – or if you have paper and pencil, draw them on paper!

*Little kids: *Along with the beaver, the Oregon state flag also has an eagle, an elk, and 2 oxen on it. How many animals is that in total? *Bonus: *If Oregon is the 33rd state, how many states had already joined the U.S. before that?

*Big kids: *Beavers love to chomp on wood. If you put out snacks on toothpicks, and the beaver eats 2 toothpicks, then 5 in the next chomp, then 9 in the next…how many does it chomp on the next bite to keep up the pattern? *Bonus: *If a beaver’s body is 36 inches long, and its tail adds on another 12 inches, what fraction of the beaver’s whole length is tail?

*The sky’s the limit: *The Oregon state flag also has the year it became a state – 1859 – on it. If you rearrange the digits in 1859 to make the biggest possible number, how much greater would it be than 1859?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *A square, because 4 is more than 3. Try drawing each shape!

*Little kids: *5 animals. *Bonus: *32 states.

*Big kids: *14 toothpicks. The pattern starts with 2, then adds 3 for the next number, then adds 4, so now we add 5, bringing us from 9 to 14. *Bonus: *The tail is 1/4 of the total length, which is 36 + 12 = 48 inches. Then 12 / 48 = 1/4.

*The sky’s the limit: *7,992. The largest number you can make with the digits 1 8 5 9 is 9,851. 9,851 – 1,859 = 7,992.

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]]>The post Who’s Sure Who’s a Hoosier? appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>First, a fun little riddle: if Diana is in the kitchen and the kitchen is in the house, what’s in Diana? A state! Yes, today we’re trekking to Indiana, land of the Hoosiers. Nobody knows where the nickname Hoosier came from, but we know they’re good at basketball. Indiana is home to another famous sporting event, the Indy 500 car race. Even animals get into the act: the Indianapolis Zoo holds a “Zoopolis 500” where tortoises race – sort of – towards a big plate of tasty fruit. Meanwhile, the people are looking around for another snack: Sugar Cream Pie, the state’s unofficially official state pie. This pie has sugar and cream (or milk) of course, as well as butter, cornstarch, and vanilla for a tasty custard filling. Some helpful folks have mapped out a 30-stop Hoosier Pie Trail to help us find as many as we can. We think that’s awfully sweet of them!

*Wee ones:* If 5 tortoises race in the Zoopolis 500, and Ed the tortoise wins, how many tortoises were slower than Ed?

*Little kids:* The tortoise race starts on a ramp, then “runs” onto a grass field. If the ramp is 6 feet long and the field is 10 feet long, how long is the whole race course? *Bonus:* If it takes tortoises 1 minute to go 2 feet, how long will it take them to finish that race course?

*Big kids:* If the 2019 Zoopolis 500 was the 40th Annual Race, and they’ve never skipped a year, what year did the race start?* Bonus:* If you eat 1/3 of a Sugar Cream Pie at each of the 30 stops on the tour, how many total pies do you eat?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Ed beat 4 tortoises, because 5 – 1 = 4.

*Little kids: *16 feet. *Bonus:* 8 minutes. You have to find how many 2-foot chunks they race, and 16 / 2 = 8.

*Big kids:* In 1980, not 1979! If 2019 was the 40th race, the 39th race was 1 year ago, the 38th race was 2 years ago…so the 1st race was 39 years ago. 2019 – 39 = 1980. 40 years ago was the “0-th race,” i.e. the last year that had no race at all. *Bonus:* 10 pies, because you eat a full pie after every 3 stops. So we find how many 3-stop chunks there are in 30. 30 / 3 = 10.

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]]>The post A Not-so-Secret Code appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The number 802 might not mean much to you, but to a lot of people it sounds like home! That’s because all people in Vermont have phone numbers that start with 802, its “area code.” Luckily for us, Vermonters also share some really tasty treats with the rest of us. First, there’s the maple syrup – Vermont makes more of it than any other state. Vermonters take sap from maple trees and boil it down into that yummy, sticky topping for your pancakes. You have to boil between 30 to 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup! Second, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is from Burlington, Vermont. This company makes more than 60 flavors of this frozen treat – that makes plenty of fuel for our road trip!

*Wee ones: *How many bottles of maple syrup can you count in the picture?

*Little kids: *What do the digits in 802 add up to? *Bonus: *If you’ve tried 2 of the 60 flavors of Ben & Jerry’s, how many do you have left to sample?

*Big kids: *If you use 3 tablespoons of syrup on your pancakes, and it took 40 times as much sap to make that, how many tablespoons of sap made your breakfast syrup? *Bonus: *To imagine what that would look like, about how many cups is that? (Reminder: A cup has 16 tablespoons.)

*The sky’s the limit: *The amount of maple syrup made in Vermont changes every year – it was more than 2 million gallons this year! If Vermont had a down year and made “only” 1.2 million gallons of syrup, and each gallon of syrup used 40 gallons of sap, how many gallons of sap were boiled down to make that syrup?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *1, 2, 3, 4 bottles of syrup!

*Little kids:* Those numbers add up to 10 – 8 + 0 + 2 = 10. *Bonus:* 58 flavors that you haven’t tried.

*Big kids: *120 tablespoons of sap. *Bonus:* More than 7 cups! It’s 7 1/2 cups to be exact.

*The sky’s the limit:* 48 million gallons of sap. Multiplying 40 x 1.2 is the same as multiplying 4 x 10 x 1.2, which is the same as 4 x 12.

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]]>The post The Perfect State to Park appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Today Wyoming turns 129! Wyoming became the 44th state on this day in 1890. Only about 600,000 people live in this huge state, fewer than any other state. But more than 4 MILLION people come every year to see Yellowstone National Park and a really crazy thing it has: geysers. Geysers are streams of water that shoot up out of the ground. There are around 500 active geysers in Yellowstone, and the most famous is “Old Faithful.” It got that name because, all day and night, it shoots boiling hot water and steam as high as 185 feet into the air! On average, it blasts every 91 minutes and goes for as long as 5 minutes at a time. In the old days, people tried to use Old Faithful to wash their clothes, but the strong, speedy stream tore everything to shreds. Now we do laundry in a machine, and we visit Old Faithful just to look at it. That’s a lot easier!

*Wee ones:* Old Faithful shoots water very, very high off the ground. Find the thing in your room that is highest off the floor, other than the ceiling!

*Little kids:* If Old Faithful will start spraying 10 seconds from now, what numbers do you say to count down, starting with 10? *Bonus:* The water sprays up to 185 feet into the air. Is that closer in height to a person or a 10-story building? (Hint: Each story of a building is about 10 to 12 feet high.)

*Big kids:* If an eruption ends at 3:10 pm, at what time will you see the next one if it starts 91 minutes after that? (Reminder: There are 60 minutes in an hour.) *Bonus:* If people try to wash their laundry at Old Faithful every 3rd day starting on a Monday, how many days later will they wash laundry on a Tuesday?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Answers might include a lamp on the wall, the top of a bedpost, or the top of a window or door frame.

*Little kids:* 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. *Bonus:* The 10-story building.

*Big kids:* 4:41 pm, since the first 60 minutes will bring you to 4:10 pm. *Bonus: *15 days later. You need a Tuesday that is a multiple of 3 from Monday; the next day is 1 day, the following Tuesday is 8 days, and the Tuesday after that is finally 15 days (2 weeks 1 day).

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