We know it's important for children to play around with numbers, big and small, as this exploration can lead to a deeper realisation of the way the world of numbers fits together. We've chosen some tasks that are exploratory whilst supporting understanding of the four calculations.

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Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10.

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Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?

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In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?

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Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.

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On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?

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Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.

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Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

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Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?

Ranging from kindergarten mathematics to the fringe of research
this informal article paints the big picture of number in a non
technical way suitable for primary teachers and older students.