Friday, October 10, 2014

# Are You a Rectangle or a Square?

My 7 year is a big fan of trivia books and she is apt to bring up the facts that “stick with her” randomly throughout the day. Luckily, National Geographic feeds her taste for bizarre and random with a large variety of trivia books and “weird but true” facts for kids. Just the other day she shared a nifty little fact with me that we are about 1 cm taller in the morning than we are in the evening and that astronauts grow a whooping 2 inches taller while in space. This “left turn” in the conversation led us to two hours of outside play in pursuit of the burning question, Are you a rectangle or a square?

## Measure Yourself

You will need one (or more) willing child and a piece of chalk. My child happily lied down stretched her arms wide to form a T, argued with me about whether her arms are perpendicular to her body (a nice long math word for your kids vocabulary) and giggled while I traced her outline. She predicted with confidence that she will be a rectangle after looking at her outline. We got out our measuring tape and measured the distance from head to toe and the distance from the tip of her fingers on the left side to the tip of her fingers on her right end. Surprise! She was a perfect square.

## Get Creative

Of course, my 7 year old couldn’t resist coloring her outline. She was determined to make her lifesize copy as “realistic as possible”. She enjoyed applying her knowledge of color theory to make purple flower on a shirt by mixing pink and blue and adding some crushed pink chalk to make blush. She was so happy with results that she immediately asked for another outline. I am wondering if she comes back to this project another day to create a bit of a scene for her “mini-me”, but she already rediscovered a joy of her chalk and learned a new math trick too.

## More Fun Math Body Facts

My daughter was happy to share more random body facts with me that involved numbers (she first consulted a couple of her favorite trivia books):
• We use 17 muscles to smile and 43 muscles to frown
• Babies are born with more than 300 bones in their bodies, but adults have 206 bones
• One human hair supports 3 ounces – she wants to test this one, but perhaps this is the topic for the next blog post.