Number Pattern Solver Activity

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Updated on Jun 2, 2014

The ability to identify number patterns is one of the building blocks to success in higher-level math and this game is the perfect way to practice. What's the best part about this pattern-solving activity? It can be played almost anywhere. Once you create come up with a number scheme or pattern, put your kid's math sleuthing skills to the test and challenge her to figure out the pattern you have in mind. Not only will you be building important skills, but you'll also be injecting a little fun into the usual math routine—a good strategy for keeping your kid engaged.

What You Need:

  • White copy paper or white lined paper
  • Pencil

What You Do:

  1. Draw a large circle on a piece of paper.  
  2. Pick a number range to use for the game. In this example we will use 1-500. Announce to your child that you have a number pattern in mind. Some examples are: all even numbers, all numbers with a 5 in them, only the “teens” numbers, etc.
  3. Encourage your child guess different numbers, one at a time. If the number she guesses is in your pattern, write the number inside the circle. If the number is not in the pattern, write the number outside of the circle. 
  4. At first your child will really just be guessing numbers. However, as more numbers are written down inside and outside the circle, patterns will begin to emerge. 
  5. Encourage her to examine the numbers outside the circle, too. Those numbers can provide vital clues to solving the pattern riddle.
  6. The game ends when your child correctly guesses the number pattern. 


For younger children, use a lower range of numbers: 1-50. Think of an easy number pattern; for example: even numbers. If you're working with older kids, increase the range of the numbers. For example, use 1-1000 and think of a more complex pattern like multiples of 4.

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