Challenge Your Brain: Complete Number Sequences

How are you with numbers? Some people are better in math than others and can do the computations in their head, while others rely or just double check answers on their calculator.

Consider  ways to challenge your ability with numbers.  Some things you can do periodically would be to try to add a column of 3 or 4 numbers in your head.  For example, add 3 + 7 + 5 + 2 without looking at the list a second time.  When you find yourself doing that easily, maybe extend it to a few more numbers or do it in columns such as 34 + 72.

I have always been a person who enjoys word puzzles but knowing that our skills with numbers can decline as we age, I actually am trying to put these types of number activities periodically into my routine. I was really good in math in school and loved algebra and geometry but those skills were never used and have been lost and a refresher course holds no interest. That being said, I find myself now challenging my brain trying to do basic multiplication in my head such as 74 x 8. Interestingly, the more I do the better I get.

Decades ago I created a product called Putting the Pieces Together  (Volume 4 ) which has excellent exercises for word and number and visual spatial skills. It has been a tool speech-language pathologists use with stroke and traumatic brain injury patients for cognitive retraining. Today I offer many of these same activities in my memory fitness groups. The book is designed to progress from simple to more complex activities and the harder ones can definitely be a challenge so try a few of the sample pages.

Here are a few samples of the number sequences:

25607     2560      256     __   Remove the last number each time.  Answer is 25

85 (30) 25      68 ( _ ) 38    Subtract the number on the far right from the number on the left then divide by 2 to get the number in the middle. Answer is 15.

Complete these sequences:  ( answers  or steps involved)

21   16    12    9  __

74    59   44    __

64    59    81    76    __ 

20    8    32   20    44    32  __

6,2    12,4    24,8      __ 

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”  Jim Rohn

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About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters ( and Communication Connection( She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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