What is Bedtime Math? A message from Laura: Bedtime Math is a pretty simple idea: We all know we should read to our kids at night, but what about math? My husband and I have done fun, mischief-loaded math problems with our kids at night for years, and when at age 2 our third child started hollering for his own math problem, we realized we were onto something: In a world where so many people say, "Ewww, math!" we had created a household culture where kids don't just tolerate math, they actually seek it out. Now, every week, we'll be posting a new problem right here on Scholastic Parents!
Do you know how to hop? It isn't the easiest thing, jumping up and down on just one leg. Even bunnies think it's too much work: We say bunnies hop, but they actually jump off both back feet. Hopping is such good exercise that over a thousand years ago soldiers in the Roman army trained by hopping through numbered squares drawn on the ground…little kids liked the game so much that they drew their own smaller versions, and that's where hopscotch came from. In hopscotch you can write whatever numbers you like, throw rocks to block squares, and make up your own rules, to make the math as tricky as you like. But as you'll see below, you don't need a sidewalk and chalk to do a lot of hopping.
Challenge your kids to see if they can solve these math challenges inspired by hopscotch.
Wee ones: If you and your 2 pet bunnies start hopping, how many feet in total are hopping? (Remember: Bunnies hop on 2 feet, but you don't!)
Little kids: If your hopscotch board has spaces numbered 1 through 10, how many hops do you do if you hop through on only the even numbers (without turning around)? Bonus: If you toss rocks onto the multiples of 4 and have to avoid those, how many squares can you hop onto?
Big kids: You can hop farther than a hopscotch board, though. The world record for hopping for a whole mile is 23 minutes 15 seconds, set last year by Joseph Scavone Jr. If you can hop it backwards in double that time, how long would it take you? Bonus: There are 5,280 feet in a mile. If the record hopper took 3/4 as many hops as there are feet, how many hops did he have to do?
Wee ones: 5 feet.
Little kids: 5 spaces (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10). Bonus: 8 spaces, since you have to avoid the 4 and 8.
Big kids: 46 minutes and 30 seconds. Bonus: 3,960 hops.