Surprising Shoe Math

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Something totally unexpected and wonderful happened a couple of days ago and it has to do with multiplication.

I’ve been struggling with teaching my almost 5-year old to put shoes on properly – right one on the right foot and left one – on the left foot. He kept getting them mixed up until a week ago a friend put two stickers inside my son’s shoes. As you can see on the picture, the stickers are of a sheep. I was too busy to take a good look at them and thought that each sticker had a sheep on it.

So a couple of days ago, as my son was in a hurry to get to the playground, I reminded him to take his time and put the shoes on right. I said “take your time and make sure that both sheep are in correct positions”. His response was absolutely fantastically mathematical. Here’s what he said after just a tiny pause: “But Mama, I only have one sheep. You don’t think I have four feet, do you?”

This might not seem like much, but consider the reasoning behind it – if one sheep “covers” two shoes, then two sheep would surely require four shoes and hence four feet.

Kids do say the most amazingly mathematical things!

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Posted in Make
2 comments on “Surprising Shoe Math
  1. Malke says:

    I TOTALLY got it even before the post was finished. Isn’t it the most amazing thing to see/hear that kind of thinking?! So fun!

    • Yelena says:

      You’re right, Malke. I think that, in general, we tend to over-explain things to our children instead of letting them make independent discoveries. Kids have a surprisingly good way of figuring things.

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