The post Why Do Cats Have Whiskers? appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Cats look so cute with those furry, fuzzy whiskers. But the whiskers are more than just cute. When they brush against anything, cats really feel it. That helps the cat figure out if it can squeeze through an opening without getting stuck. You never want to cut those whiskers, because it will leave the cat dizzy and confused. The 8-12 whiskers on each side of the nose also show a cat’s mood! Whiskers tilted forward mean the cat is excited and alert. Whiskers flattened back show anger or fear. And whiskers sticking straight out show that a cat is calm – and that’s probably the cutest of all.

*Wee ones:* If a cat has 8 cute whiskers, what numbers would you say to count them?

*Little kids:* If a cat has 10 whiskers on each side of its nose, how many does it have? *Bonus:* What if it has 12 on each side — how many more whiskers does it have now?

*Big kids:* If a cat had 9 whiskers on each side of its nose, above each eye, and behind each front paw, how many whiskers would that be in total? *Bonus:* If 1 cat has 80 whiskers in total, another has 36 in total, and a 3rd cat’s number is halfway between those, how many whiskers does the 3rd cat have?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

*Little kids:* 20 whiskers. *Bonus:* 4 more whiskers since you added 2 on each side.

*Big kids:* 54 whiskers (6 sets of 9). *Bonus:* 58 whiskers. The difference between the first 2 cats is 80-36 = 44, so the 3rd cat’s number will be 22 less than one cat and 22 more than the other cat.

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]]>The post Fruit Fight appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Wait — how can these peaches and cherries grow on the same tree? Well, a guy named Sam Van Aken creates trees that grow lots of kinds of fruit. He “grafts” trees together, meaning he cuts off one tree’s branch and ties it to a cut in another tree’s trunk. If it works, they grow into one happy tree. Peaches and cherries work because they’re cousins — they’re both stone fruits (they have a pit inside). Sam’s trees can bear up to 40 kinds of fruit, and flowers to match! It’s like someone giving you a rabbit’s ears or an anteater’s nose… except a lot better-looking.

*Wee ones:* If Sam’s tree has flowers in white, pink, purple, orange and magenta, how many colors is that?

*Little kids:* If you pick fruit to bake a cherry pie, then a peach pie, then a cherry pie, then a peach pie…what should you bake next to keep the pattern? *Bonus:* How would you count up the tree’s 40 fruits by 10s?

*Big kids:* What if a tree could grow snacks? If your tree grows potato chips, pretzel sticks, and Cheetos, and you pick 1 snack type each day cycling in that order, how many days until you’ve picked 25 of each snack? *Bonus:* If it grows 40 snacks and you pick a new snack each day, then after the 40 you start over in the same order, how many *full* times will you cycle through all snack types in 1 year? (*Reminder:* A year has 365 days; a leap year has 366.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 5 colors.

*Little kids:* A cherry pie. *Bonus:* 10, 20, 30, 40.

*Big kids:* 75 days. *Bonus:* 9 full cycles, since that brings you to 360 and you can’t then fit another cycle.

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]]>The post When Cat Meets Deer appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Even though there’s only 1 cat and 4 deer in this picture, all the animals look confused and a little suspicious. It makes sense that the little cat would be nervous. While cats typically weigh 8-12 pounds, deer can weigh 150 pounds. And both animals have a top speed of about 30 miles per hour. The real question is, which one can rule the world? A deer can have 1 to 4 babies in a year, while cats can have up to 12 kittens per year. In the end, cats might take over!

*Wee ones:* How many animals can you count in the photo?

*Little kids:* If a deer and a cat try to race, how many legs do they have together? *Bonus:* Deer antlers can grow 1 inch per day. If *you* grew an inch a day, how tall would you be 1 week from now?

*Big kids:* If the lead deer weighs 200 pounds and the cat weighs just 12 pounds, how many pounds heavier is the deer? *Bonus:* How many cats that size would have to get together to outweigh the deer?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 5 animals: 4 deer plus the cat.

*Little kids:* 8 legs (4 on each). *Bonus:* Different for everyone…add 7 to your height in inches.

*Big kids:* 188 pounds more. *Bonus:* 17 cats, since 16 cats will weigh just 192 pounds.

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]]>The post Lucky 13? appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Today is Friday the 13th! A lot of people think the number 13 is unlucky, so they worry bad things will happen today. Many tall buildings don’t even call their 13th floor “number 13” — they skip from 12 to 14! The funny thing is, there haven’t been any more bad Friday the 13ths in history than any other date. And even if there had been, why should today follow that? On a happier note, a lot of people have a lucky number: maybe their birthday, or the number of letters in their first name. Do you have a lucky number? Let’s check it out!

*Wee ones:* Think of your lucky number, or just pick a number you like. Try counting up to that number!

*Little kids:* If your lucky number is 9 but your friend’s lucky number is 6, who has the bigger lucky number? *Bonus:* How much bigger is that lucky number than the other?

*Big kids:* If your lucky number is 5, so you clap for good luck 5 times before every soccer game, how many times do you clap in an 8-game season? *Bonus:* If you also eat Cheerios with 5 on the spoon for every bite, how many bites do you need to eat a bowl of 63 Cheerios — with as few non-lucky bites as possible?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Count 1,2,3…

*Little kids:* Your lucky number is bigger. *Bonus:* By 3.

*Big kids:* 40 claps. *Bonus:* 13 bites, since 12 5’s will get you only to 60.

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]]>The post A Very Prickly Family appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>First, some fun news: Your family can now enjoy Bedtime Math via text! Just text “Bedtime Math” to 474747 to get 3 of our favorite stories per week. More details here.

Porcupines aren’t the only prickly animals out there. Hedgehogs, which aren’t related to porcupines at all, are spiky too, with more than 6,000 quills on some of them! Hedgehogs protect themselves by rolling up into a ball, which makes all the spines stick straight out. That said, even hedgehogs can be lovable. A batch of 4 baby hedgehogs lost their mom, but a mama tabby cat named Sonya adopted them alongside her own kitten. They snuggle together, nap together, even eat together. The baby “hedgekittens” look very cute even with all those prickles….just be careful when you try to pet them.

*Wee ones:* If Sonya has 1 kitten plus the 4 baby hedgehogs, how many “kids” call her Mom?

*Little kids:* If we have Sonya and her kitten, and the 4 baby hedgehogs, how many more hedgehogs than cats are there in this funny family? *Bonus:* A group of hedgehogs is called a “prickle” — really! If you added 7 more hedgehogs to these 4, how many would you have in your prickle?

*Big kids:* Porcupine quills are easy to pluck, but hedgehog quills aren’t. If a porcupine has 30,000 quills, how many more does it have than a 6,000-quill hedgehog? *Bonus:* How many hedgehogs together would you need to have the same number of quills as the porcupine?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you have cats, porcupines and hedgehogs, and the number of cats plus porcupines is 14, the number of cats and hedgehogs is 18, and the number of porcupines and hedgehogs is 20, how many of each animal do you have?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 5 “kids.”

*Little kids:* 2 more. (4 vs. 2). *Bonus:* 11 hedgehogs.

*Big kids:* 24,000 quills. *Bonus:* 5 hedgehogs. 30,000 divided by 6,000 is 5, since 30 divided by 6 is 5.

*The sky’s the limit:* 6 cats, 8 porcupines and 12 hedgehogs. Adding hedgehogs to the cats instead of porcupines raises the total by 4, so there are 4 more hedgehogs than porcupines. That means if you had the same number of hedgehogs as porcupines, that total would drop from 20 to 16. There would be equal numbers of each, so the porcupines would be half, giving us 8 porcupines. But there were 4 more hedgehogs than porcupines, giving us 12 hedgehogs. And the porcupines plus cats add up to 14, so there are 6 cats.

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]]>The post Giraffe Hotel appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>A hotel is a place where you stay while away from home. If you’re in Kenya, you might also have a giraffe staying with you! Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville have a ranch where giraffes live to stay safe, because giraffes are sadly endangered. Jock and Betty took in their first giraffe in 1974, a baby named Daisy. She was already 8 feet tall and weighed over 450 pounds! Many giraffes have lived there since. Human visitors like you can feed the giraffes from the breakfast table or from your own room window. Let’s just hope the giraffes don’t hit their head on the ceiling!

*Wee ones: *If 3 giraffes come down to breakfast and you feed carrots to 2 of them, how many giraffes are still waiting for a snack? Use your fingers to count if it helps!

*Little kids:* If the doors at the hotel are 6 feet high and Daisy was already 8 feet tall, how much did she have to duck to walk through? *Bonus:* Daisy probably grew 10 feet taller by the time she was grown up. How tall did she become?

*Big kids:* If there are 12 giraffes at the Manor and the guests feed 4 apples to each one, how many apples do the giraffes munch down? *Bonus:* When you were born, you were probably only around 20 inches tall. How much taller was Daisy at 8 feet?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 1 giraffe.

*Little kids:* 2 feet. *Bonus:* 18 feet.

*Big kids:* 48 apples. *Bonus:* 76 inches, since Daisy was 96 inches.

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]]>The post Duck, Duck, Horse appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Animals are great at making friends. We’ve seen hedgehogs cuddle up with kitties, turtles hang out with a capybara, and even cats (cheetahs) and dogs get along. But this horse and goose duo just might take the cake. Six-year-old Waffles is actually a miniature horse, which explains why he’s barely taller than Hemingway the goose. Hemingway helped calm Waffles when he was sick, and now the two never want to be apart. So if you want to adopt these adorable farm friends, it’s a package deal!

*Wee ones: *If Waffles the mini-horse has 4 legs and Hemingway the goose has 2, who has more?

*Little kids: *Mini-horses are normally 3 feet tall at their shoulder. Are you taller or shorter than that? Grab a measuring tape and find out! *Bonus: *If Hemingway stands on Waffles’ head and each friend is 3 feet tall, will that whole stack stand taller than you? By how much?

*Big kids: *If Waffles eats 8 waffles for breakfast and Hemingway has 1/4 of that amount for himself, how many waffles does Hemingway have? *Bonus: *If Hemingway honks 3 times every 15 minutes and Waffles whinnies 6 times every 24 minutes, how many more whinnies than honks will you hear in 4 hours?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Waffles has more legs.

*Little kids: *Different for everyone…subtract 36 inches from your height, or your height from 36 inches. *Bonus: *Different for everyone again, but that goose’s head is probably higher up than yours! Subtract your height in feet from 6 feet, or for big kids and grownups, take 6 feet from your height.

*Big kids: *2 waffles, because 8 / 4 = 2. *Bonus: *12 more whinnies than honks. Hemingway honks once every 5 minutes, while Waffles whinnies once every 4 minutes. That makes 15 whinnies to 12 honks in each hour, and 3 more whinnies x 4 hours = 12 more whinnies.

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]]>The post Proud As a Pea…cake? appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>We just love this flashy cake and cupcake combo! It was made by Malizzi Cakes for a big wedding party. Peacocks are famous for their feathers, so what better way to show them off than with a stream of cupcakes? The bakers told us the main cake can serve 75 people. That’s not counting the 125 cupcakes, each with 4 pieces of frosting to make the feather “eye.” All that baking and decorating took about 8 hours. But it was worth it, and we bet the cake was eaten in way less time!

*Wee ones: *If the cake uses white, blue, green, and yellow frosting, how many colors of frosting is that?

*Little kids: *If you eat the 6th tailfeather cupcake, then the 8th one, which number cupcake did you skip? *Bonus: *If you eat 5 cupcakes, and each is either chocolate or vanilla, can you eat an equal number of the 2 flavors?

*Big kids: *If there are 4 pieces of frosting on each cupcake, how many cupcakes would give you 64 pieces of frosting?* Bonus: *Out of the 125 cupcakes, there is 1 more vanilla than chocolate. How many chocolate cupcakes are there?

*The sky’s the limit: *The area of a circle equals pi times the circle’s radius squared (times itself). If the top 2 layers of the cake have radii of 3 and 4 inches, and the bottom layer has a radius of 5 inches, and all have equal heights, is there more cake in the top 2 layers or the bottom single layer?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *4 colors of frosting.

*Little kids: *The 7th cupcake. *Bonus: *No, because 5 is an odd number. You could have 4 of one flavor and 1 of the other, or 3 and 2.

*Big kids: *16 cupcakes. *Bonus: *62 chocolate. Think of it this way: if you took away the extra vanilla, you’d have 124 cupcakes with the same number of chocolate anyway, and they’d be exactly half of that total.

*The sky’s the limit: *There is an equal amount of cake in the top two layers as in the bottom single layer! The top two layers = 3 x 3 π + 4 x 4 π = 9π + 16π = 25π. The single bottom layer = 5 x 5 π or 25π.

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]]>The post Why Did the Duck Cross the Road? appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Every once in a while, we’re driving down a road and have to stop to let an animal family cross. Hopefully you *won’t* have to stop and wait for 50 or more ducks to waddle across. That’s what we see in this picture, where a huge number of ducks take their merry time waddling across the street. We don’t know where the ducks are going or why, or how they stay in such a nice neat line. But we like seeing – and counting – them anyway.

*Wee ones:* Which has more ducks, a line of 8 ducks or a line of 6 ducks?

*Little kids:* If you and your pet duck take a walk, how many feet do you have together? *Bonus:* If every 3rd duck quacks when it reaches the street, starting with the 3rd duck (and no other ducks quack), will the 8th duck quack?

*Big kids:* If 37 ducks march in this parade, how many webbed feet are marching? *Bonus:* If every 3rd duck starting with the 3rd quacks when it reaches the street, and every 4th duck starting with the 4th wriggles its tail, which number ducks are the first 8 ducks to do an extra trick at the street?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* The line of 8 ducks.

*Little kids:* 4 feet. *Bonus:* It will not quack — the 6th and 9th ducks will.

*Big kids:* 74 duck feet. *Bonus:* They will be the multiples of 3 and the multiples of 4, but remember, there’s overlap at 12! So the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th,12th, 15th and 16th ducks will either quack or wriggle (and both in the case of number 12).

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]]>The post Swing That Bowling Ball appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Wait — why are those bowling balls swinging? They’re showing what happens when YOU ride a swing. No matter how far you push back or how much you weigh, it always takes the same amount of time to swing from back to front. The only thing that changes the timing is the length of the chains. Longer swings take longer. In this amazing video, all those colorful bowling balls hang at slightly different heights. They start swinging together, but soon separate in a ripple, clinking xylophone bars to prove it. Watch the video to see — and hear it!

*Wee ones:* What shape is a bowling ball? Can you find that shape in your room?

*Little kids:* If 1 bowling ball swings 3 feet above the ground and another swings 4 feet above ground, which one is higher? *Bonus:* If there are 14 balls between the first and last, how many are swinging in total?

*Big kids:* After every one of the 16 balls has made 4 full round trips (right to left and right again), how many notes have you heard them clink in total? (They clink at both the front and back.) *Bonus:* If the balls play the musical notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, then C to start the pattern again over, what note does the 16th ball play?

*The sky’s the limit:* If the slowest-period ball takes 5 seconds to swing from front to back, the one in the middle takes 4 seconds, and the fastest-period ball takes just 3 ½ seconds, how many seconds will it be before they all line up again on the right?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* A circle from the side, or in 3D, a “sphere.” Look for spheres of any kind in your room!

*Little kids:* The ball 4 feet above ground. *Bonus:* 16 balls.

*Big kids:* 128 notes, since 4 full round trips means every ball clinks its bar 8 times. *Bonus: *High D, since the first 14 cover the 1st 2 sets of 7 notes.

*The sky’s the limit:* At 280 seconds, or 4 minutes 40 seconds. The key here is that while 20 is a common multiple of 4 and 5, at 20 seconds the 5-second ball has done 2 full round trips and is on the right, while the 4-second ball has done only 2 ½ trips and is on the left. So they line up only every 40 seconds. For the 3 ½-second ball to meet them there, it needs to do an even number of 7-second round trips, and the smallest common multiple of 40 and 7 is 280.

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