Perusing Patterns

What does the word 'pattern' mean to you? Before reading any more, pause to think.

Perhaps you imagine geometrical shapes arranged in particular ways. Maybe pattern for you is about repetition. Perhaps you think of a sequence of numbers, going up in equal steps. Or...

The tasks in this feature will give you the chance to identify different kinds of pattern, copy patterns, extend patterns and create your own, all of which will help you think mathematically. 

The last day for sending in solutions to the live problems is Monday 11 July.

Pattern Making 

Age 3 to 5
In this activity, there are lots of different patterns for children to make, describe and extend.

Chairs and Tables live

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Make a chair and table out of interlocking cubes, making sure that the chair fits under the table!

Domino Sequences live

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Find the next two dominoes in these sequences.

Repeating Patterns live

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?

Chain of Changes live

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Arrange the shapes in a line so that you change either colour or shape in the next piece along. Can you find several ways to start with a blue triangle and end with a red circle?

Missing Middles live

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Can you work out the domino pieces which would go in the middle in each case to complete the pattern of these eight sets of three dominoes?

Digit Addition 

Age 5 to 11
Challenge Level
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?

Tables Without Tens 

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level
Investigate and explain the patterns that you see from recording just the units digits of numbers in the times tables.

Play to 37 live

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.

Up and Down Staircases 

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?

Sticky Triangles live

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?