This is a thoughtful activity for those those odd moments (maybe when you need a cup of coffee) and want to keep the children engaged and thinking.

You need a pencil and paper

To start, on a napkin or scrap of paper write the numbers

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Now ask your child to choose ** three** numbers that will add to 12.

Once done, see if they can find a different combination of three numbers that add to 12...

and another...

and another...

How many ** different** ways can they find?

(there are 7 different ways, did they find them all?)

Talk about the number combinations.

Do they spot any patterns in the numbers?

What happens if you include a zero as well as the digits 1 to 9? How many different ways are possible now?

You can take this further by asking them to pick **four numbers** with a total of 12. How many different ways can they find?