This Week's Bedtime Math Problem: The Fuzzier, The Better

Baby farm animals are everywhere this time of year. They&re fuzzy, adorable, and a bit noisy -- and as they multiply, there&s lots of math for you to do.
By Laura Overdeck
Mar 26, 2013

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Mar 26, 2013

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 we email parents a fun, lively math problem every day to do with their kids – and every week, we’ll be posting a new problem right here on Scholastic Parents!  Check out this week’s problem below.

Most animals, including people, are cutest when they’re small.  And that holds true more than ever for farm animals.  That’s why little kids’ books and toys are all about baby chicks, calves and ducklings instead of, say, squid.

All those fluffy farm babies are being born right now, so they have as long as possible to grow big and strong before winter.  That makes for quite a racket on the farm.

Wee ones (counting on fingers): If Momma Sheep (also called a ewe) has 2 baby lambs, Momma Cow has 1 calf, and Momma Horse (mare) has 1 foal, how many babies were born?

Little kids: If the farm has 12 Momma Sheep, and half of them have a single lamb and half have twin lambs, how many lambs were born?   Bonus: If half the new lambs are girls, how many female sheep will there be in the flock after the babies are born?

Big kids: If all the momma cows, sheep and horses have 24 new babies in total, how many new legs are walking around?  Bonus: If 1/2 the new babies are mooing and 1/3 of them are neighing, how many of them are baaing?

Wee ones: 4 baby animals.

Little kids: 18 lambs.  Bonus: 21 girls: the 12 mommies, and the 9 girl lambs.

Big kids: 96 legs.  Bonus: 4 baaing lambs.

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