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.

February 3, 2014

It’s Girl Scout cookie season again, when Girl Scouts all across America sell boxes of classic chocolaty Thin Mints, peanut buttery Tagalongs, and coconutty Samoas. Part of the money from these sales helps the Girl Scouts do their projects and good works. All the boxes are about the same size so they’ll stack well in the truck (and on your kitchen table), but there’s a different number of cookies in each one…Thin Mints just sit on top of each other in two tall tubes of plastic wrap, but the Samoas have to sit in a tray so they won’t break. So if want to buy as many Girl Scout cookies as possible, you’ll have to do the math right.

Wee ones: What different shapes are the cookies you see above?

Little kids: If you stack cookies on a plate and they’re all Tagalongs except every 3rd cookie is a Shortbread, how many Shortbreads do you have on a plate of 9 cookies?  Bonus: The Samoa box says that a serving is 2 cookies, and there are 8 servings in the box. How many cookies come in that box?

Big kids: If you have 2 stacks of Thin Mints in the box and one has 2 more cookies than the other, and together they have 24 cookies, how many Thin Mints are in each stack?  Bonus: If the Girl Scout troops in your area fall into a pattern, where one troop sells 4 boxes, the next troop sells 10 boxes, the next sells 22 boxes, and the next sells 46 boxes…how many boxes does the next troop sell?

The sky’s the limit: Some Girl Scouts sell a lot of boxes of cookies. If a Girl Scout sells either 8, 15, or 19 boxes of each flavor, what combination of amounts could she sell that comes closest to 100 boxes total – given that there are only 9 flavors?

Wee ones: Mostly circles, plus a 4-leaf clover (4th from left) and a hexagon with a hole (3rd from right).