Missing Numbers
Finding the missing numbers in a sequence or a series is a fun activity for the students to identify the patterns and memorize multiplication tables, numbers, fundamental mathematical operations, or even counting. This activity helps to develop the mental skills of the student. We can find missing numbers using the pictorial representations, in a series, in a table format or simply using blanks. To find the missing numbers, we need to observe the pattern given and then fill in the blank.
In this article, we will discuss different activities to find the missing numbers and observe the patterns and calculations. We shall do the activity with the use of series, tables, and pictorial representations for a better understanding of the concept. We shall find missing numbers in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to understand these arithmetic operations better.
What are Missing Numbers?
Missing numbers are basically the numbers that have been missed in a sequence or a series. We can find those missing numbers by identifying the pattern. Whenever there are blanks in a series of numbers, a few numbers have been missed and we need to observe the pattern and fill in the blanks with suitable numbers. We can use the method of finding missing numbers to memorize the counting, multiplications tables, and learn the use of arithmetic operations. The activity of finding missing numbers helps the students to develop mental skills and adds to their fine motor practice of learning.
Types of Missing Numbers Activities
We can use different forms of activities to find the missing numbers such as:
 Pictorial representation
 Series Representation
 Table Representation
 Fill in the Blanks in Between Calculations
Find Missing Number
We can find the missing number in an activity by observing the pattern or the calculations involved. To make the activity of finding missing numbers interesting for the students, we can use pictorial representations and interactive images. Let us go through a few examples of such activities to understand the process and steps to follow to find the missing numbers.
Example 1: Find the missing numbers in the given sequence: 1, , 5, , 9, 11, 13, , 17, 19.
Solution: To find the missing numbers, we will follow the steps given below:
 Step 1: Observe the pattern between consecutive numbers given. Here, 9, 11, 13 are consecutive numbers and we can see that they all are odd numbers. 17 and 19 are also odd consecutive numbers.
 Step 2: The pattern here is of odd numbers.
 Step 3: Do the counting and start filling in the numbers. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19.
 Step 4: Verify the pattern after filling in the missing numbers. The pattern is correct throughout the sequence, that is, the numbers are odd consecutive numbers.
Since the pattern is the same throughout the sequence, the answers are correct.
Answer: The missing numbers are 3, 7, and 15.
Example 2: Fill in the blank with the suitable number: + 3 = 8.
Solution: To find the missing number in the given expression, we will see the operation used.
 Step 1: Recall the concept of addition. We need to find the first addend.
 Step 2: Think of the number which when added to 3 gives the sum equal to 8.
 Step 3: 5 + 3 = 8. So, the missing number is 5.
 Step 4: Write the missing number: 5 + 3 = 8.
Answer: The missing number is 5.
Find Missing Number in Series
When a series of numbers are given with blanks, then we find the missing number in the series. Such a series follows a specific pattern. Let us discuss the series of counting numbers from 1 to 10, 1 to 20, and 1 to 50. This will help us to learn the counting numbers and memorize them in an easy way.
Missing Numbers 110
Let us write the series of counting numbers from 1 to 10 with blanks and then fill in the missing numbers.
1, , 3, 4, 5, 6, , , 9, 10.
As we can see above, there are some blanks in the series and the pattern being followed here is of counting numbers from 1 to 10. Let us count and then fill in the missing numbers. This helps us to memorize counting numbers.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
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Given below is a series of counting numbers from 1 to 20 with blanks. Let us recall the counting and fill the missing numbers in the series.
1, , 3, 4, 5, 6, , , 9, 10, 11, , 13, , 15, 16, , , 19, 20.
Answer: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 , 8 , 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 , 15, 16, 17 , 18 , 19, 20.
Missing Numbers 150
Let us now revise the counting numbers from 1 to 50 using the missing numbers activity. Given below is a series of numbers from 1 to 50 with blanks.
1, , 3, 4, 5, 6, , , 9, 10, 11, , 13, , 15, 16, , , 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, , , 26, 27, , 29, , 31, , 33, 34, , 36, , , , 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, , 46, , 48, , 50.
Let us now fill in the missing numbers.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 , 8 , 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 , 15, 16, 17 , 18 , 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 , 25 , 26, 27, 28 , 29, 30 , 31, 32 , 33, 34, 35 , 36, 37 , 38 , 39 , 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 , 46, 47 , 48, 49 , 50.
Missing Numbers in Addition and Subtraction
Now, we will revise the concept of addition and subtraction using the missing numbers activity. Let us go through some of the examples below and understand how to find missing numbers.
 + 5 = 9
 1  1 =
 10  = 4
 7 + 4 =
 18 + = 20
  3 = 2
Now, we will solve the above problems one by one.
 + 5 = 9. We need to find a number that when added to 5 gives the sum equal to 9. When we add 4 and 5, the sum is 9. So, we have 4 + 5 = 9.
 1  1 = . We need to find a number that is equal to 1 minus 1. When a number is subtracted from itself, the difference is 0. So, we have 1  1 = 0 .
 10  = 4. We need to find a number which when subtracted from 10 gives the difference equal to 4. So, 10  6 = 4
 7 + 4 = . The sum of 7 and 4 is equal to 13. So, 7 + 4 = 13
 18 + = 20. We know that the sum of 18 and 2 is 20. So, we have 18 + 2 = 20
  3 = 2. The difference of 5 and 3 is equal to 2. So, we have 5  3 = 2.
Missing Numbers in Multiplication and Division
As we did an activity of finding missing numbers in addition and subtraction in the previous section, let us do a similar activity for multiplication and division to revise the concept and find the missing numbers.
 4 × 2 =
 3 × = 9
 × 5 = 25
 10 ÷ 2 =
 12 ÷ = 4
 ÷ 6 = 3
Now, we will solve the above problems one by one.
 4 × 2 = . The product of 4 and 2 is equal to 8. So, 4 × 2 = 8
 3 × = 9. We need to find a number that when multiplied by 3 gives the product equal to 9. We know that the product of 3 with itself is equal to 9. So, 3 × 3 = 9
 × 5 = 25. We need to find a number that when multiplied by 5 gives the product equal to 25. We know that the product of 5 with itself is equal to 25. So, 5 × 5 = 25
 10 ÷ 2 = . When 10 is divided by 2, the quotient is 5. So, 10 ÷ 2 = 5 .
 12 ÷ = 4. We know that when 12 is divided by 3, the quotient is equal to 3. So, 12 ÷ 3 = 4
 ÷ 6 = 3. We know that when 18 is divided by 6, the quotient is equal to 3. So, 18 ÷ 6 = 3.
Hence, we have found the missing numbers in the given multiplication and division problems.
Missing Numbers  Before and After
Let us discuss the activity of finding the missing numbers to memorize numbers before and after a specific number. Given below is a set of examples to find the numbers:
 , 5,
 , 10,
 , 45,
 , 18,
Let us now find the missing numbers.
 , 5, . The number before 5 is 4 and the number after 5 is 6. So, we have 4 , 5, 6 .
 , 10, . The number before 10 is 9 and the number after 10 is 11. So, we have 9 , 10, 11 .
 , 45, .The number before 45 is 44 and the number after 45 is 46. So, we have 44 , 45, 46 .
 , 18, .The number before 18 is 17 and the number after 18 is 19. So, we have 17 , 18, 19 .
This activity of finding the missing numbers helps to memorize the counting numbers.
Important Notes on Missing Numbers
 Finding the missing numbers in a sequence or a series is an activity for the kids to identify the patterns and memorize multiplication tables, numbers, fundamental mathematical operations, or even counting.
 We can use series, pictorial representation, tables, and blanks to create an activity for finding the missing numbers.
 Finding missing numbers to the fine motor practice of learning.
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Missing Numbers Examples

Example 1: Find the missing numbers in series: 2, 4, , 8, 10, 12, , 16.
Solution: To find the missing numbers, we need to identify the pattern in the given series. As we can see, the numbers in the series are even numbers.
The even number after 4 is 6 and the even number after 12 is 14. So, we have
2, 4, 6 , 8, 10, 12, 14 , 16
Answer: The missing numbers are 6 and 14.

Example 2: Find the missing numbers:
 1, 2, 2
 2, 3, 6
 3, 4, 12
 5, 6,
 6, 7,
Solution: We need to identify the pattern to find the missing numbers. As we can see, in step, the third number is equal to the product of the first two numbers.
1 × 2 = 2
2 × 3 = 6
3 × 4 = 12
5 × 6 = 30
6 × 7 = 42
So, we have
 1, 2, 2
 2, 3, 6
 3, 4, 12
 5, 6, 30
 6, 7, 42
Answer: The missing numbers are 30 and 42.

Example 3: Fill in the blanks:
 + 3 = 9
 5  = 0
 4 × = 0
 5 ÷ 5 =
Solution: To fill in the blanks, we have
 6 + 3 = 9
 5  5 = 0
 4 × 0 = 0
 5 ÷ 5 = 1
Answer: The missing numbers 6, 5, 0, and 1, respectively for each part.
FAQs on Missing Numbers
What are Missing Numbers?
Missing numbers are basically the numbers that have been missed in a sequence or a series. We can find those missing numbers by identifying the pattern of the series.
How to Find Missing Number?
We can find the missing number in an activity by observing the pattern or the calculations involved. Every missing number activity follows a specific pattern and we need to identify the pattern to find the missing numbers.
How to Find Missing Number in Series?
We can find the missing number in a series of counting from 1 to 10, 1 to 20, or 1 to 50, and so on by memorizing the counting numbers. We can also find the missing number in a series by identifying the pattern followed.
How to Find Missing Numbers in Addition and Subtraction?
We can find the missing numbers in addition and subtraction by checking which number satisfies the equation. This helps to revise the concept of addition and subtraction.
What are the Ways to Create Missing Number Activities?
We can use different forms of activities to find the missing numbers such as:
 Pictorial representation
 Series Representation
 Table Representation
 Fill in the Blanks in Between Calculations
What are the Advantages of Missing Numbers Activities?
The activity of finding missing numbers helps the students to develop mental skills and adds to their fine motor practice of learning.
How to Find Missing Numbers in a Table?
The missing numbers in a table can be determined by observing the pattern between the numbers in the table.
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