Making a Splash

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Making a Splash

October 2, 2012

That baby dolphin in the photo is awfully cute.  But dolphins are cute at any age, thanks to faces that always look like they’re smiling.  Their playful energy also plays a part: despite weighing up to 11 tons (orcas, one type of dolphin), dolphins can jump a good 15 feet out of the water.  They sound cute, too: they squeak as fast as 2,000 squeaks per second to figure out how far away things are, and make clicking sounds to talk to one another.  But since dolphins are mammals (not fish), they have hair, give birth to live babies, and breathe air, just like we people do.  If we could just learn to jump 30 feet out of the water and smile all the time, we could be a lot like them.

Wee ones (counting on fingers): If there are 5 dolphins in a pod, and 2 of those dolphins each have 1 baby, how many dolphins are in the pod now?

Little kids: If dolphins grow to roughly 30 feet long, and the average car is 15 feet long, how many cars long is a dolphin?  Bonus: Given that a ton is 2,000 pounds, how many pounds does an 11-ton orca weigh?

Big kids: If 10 dolphins live at your local aquarium, and each dolphin eats 50 fish a day, how many fish does the whole pod eat in a day?  Bonus: If a dolphin swims about 8 km/hour, how far could it travel in a day? (Remember: a day has 24 hours.)




Wee ones: 7 dolphins.

Little kids: 2 car lengths.  Bonus: 22,000 pounds.

Big kids: 500 fish per day.  Bonus: 192 km, which is about 120 miles.

And thank-you to Ellie A. for not only requesting this topic, but also sending some awesome facts!

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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