In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice about the answers?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
Investigate the totals you get when adding numbers on the diagonal of this pattern in threes.
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?
Can you go from A to Z right through the alphabet in the hexagonal maze?
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
Here is your chance to investigate the number 28 using shapes, cubes ... in fact anything at all.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you change the position of the jigsaws?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.
Three beads are threaded on a circular wire and are coloured either red or blue. Can you find all four different combinations?
Explore one of these five pictures.
Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the path it's already made.
Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can you find in the numbers in this box?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
Look at the squares in this problem. What does the next square look like? I draw a square with 81 little squares inside it. How long and how wide is my square?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
At the beginning of May Tom put his tomato plant outside. On the same day he sowed a bean in another pot. When will the two be the same height?
Daisy and Akram were making number patterns. Daisy was using beads that looked like flowers and Akram was using cube bricks. First they were counting in twos.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
How do you know if your set of dominoes is complete?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
Using only the red and white rods, how many different ways are there to make up the other colours of rod?
What patterns can you make with a set of dominoes?
These lower primary activities offer opportunities for children to create, recognise and extend number patterns.
These upper primary activities offer opportunities for children to recognise, extend and explain number patterns.
This article for primary teachers outlines how we can encourage children to create, identify, extend and explain number patterns and why being able to do so is useful.
In this activity, the computer chooses a times table and shifts it. Can you work out the table and the shift each time?
Here are some more lower primary number pattern tasks for you to try.
This activity asks you to collect information about the birds you see in the garden. Are there patterns in the data or do the birds seem to visit randomly?
Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.
In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a sequence adding 2 each time?
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each time?
These sixteen children are standing in four lines of four, one behind the other. They are each holding a card with a number on it. Can you work out the missing numbers?
Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral triangles.
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?