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Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:
Have a look at these two squares of numbers:

Three by three square with one number in each square. Top row from left to right contains 1, 5 and 7. Middle row from left to right contains 3, 8 and 2. Bottom row from left to right contains 4, 9 and 6.       Three by three square with one number in each square. Top row from left to right contains 8, 4 and 7. Middle row from left to right contains 6, 1 and 2. Bottom row from left to right contains 5, 9 and 3.

What do you see?
 
What is the same about the two squares?  What is different?


'Magic' squares are square grids with a special arrangement of numbers in them. The arrangement is special because the numbers in each row, column and diagonal add up to the same total. (We could call this the 'magic total'.)

Looking at the left hand square above, if we add the top row of numbers, 1 + 5 + 7, we get a total of 13:

Three by three square with one number in each square. Top row from left to right contains 1, 5 and 7. Middle row from left to right contains 3, 8 and 2. Bottom row from left to right contains 4, 9 and 6. The top row has a horizontal line through it and 1+5+7=13 is written to the right. 

If we add the left hand column of numbers, 1 + 3 + 4, we get a total of 8.
So, we know already that this square is not a magic square as these two totals are different. 

Use the numbers 1 to 9 to create a magic square.
Can you find another way of doing it?
And another? And another? ...

What do you notice about your magic squares?