Math Tricks for Kids

Alright math magicians..., You're at the right place for more math tricks for kids. We will continue adding more tricks so be sure to check back often.

The 6174 Trick

Math Skills: This trick is good for helping students practice four-digit subtraction.

What You Need: Piece of paper and pencil 

Performing the Math Trick

  • Have someone choose any four-digit number.  (At least one digit should be different from the other digits)
  • Arrange the digits in order from largest to smallest and write that number down. 


  • The person chooses the number 4,081
  • Rearrange digits in order from largest to smallest:


  • Now have them reverse the digits of this number and subtract it from the last number they wrote down.
  • After they subtract and get the answer, have them arrange the numbers from greatest to least if they are not already.
  • Now have them subtract the reverse of this number from itself (same procedure as above).  
  • Keep repeating these same steps and they will soon arrive at the magic number: 6174!  

Not at the Magic Number yet, so they keep going.

And just like magic.....they will reach the Magic Number! (See below)

Pretty Cool!  It works every time. 

Note: It might be a good idea to make sure they are doing the subtractions correctly, otherwise they may not get to the Magic Number.

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