Factors of 12 – Definition With Examples

In the vast and fascinating world of mathematics, the understanding of numbers and their relationships is paramount. One such relationship is the concept of factors. Just as children have the natural curiosity to dissect toys to see what’s inside, they also often wonder about the components that construct a particular number. At Brighterly, we firmly believe in fueling this curiosity and equipping our young learners with the foundational knowledge that sets the stage for more complex mathematical explorations. With 12 being such a versatile and commonly encountered number in daily life, understanding its factors is an adventure in itself. So, let’s embark on this enlightening journey to discover the factors of 12, while unveiling their significance and utility in the broader landscape of mathematics.

What Are Factors of 12?

Factors are numbers that can be multiplied together to get another number. In the realm of mathematics, especially when learning multiplication and division for kids, understanding factors is essential. In the case of 12, we’re exploring which numbers can be multiplied together to achieve this number. As parents and teachers use the Brighterly platform, ensuring children understand such concepts can pave the way for grasping more complex mathematical topics in the future.

Definition of Factors

Factors, in mathematics, are numbers that divide another number exactly, leaving no remainder. For instance, if you multiply two numbers and get a product, those two numbers are termed as the factors of the product. Factors are foundational when children start learning about multiplication tables. As they advance, recognizing factors becomes a crucial tool in topics such as prime factorization and simplifying fractions.

Definition of the Number 12

The number 12, often referred to as a dozen, is a positive integer that comes after 11 and before 13. Throughout history, the number 12 has had cultural and mathematical significance. There are 12 months in a year, 12 zodiac signs, and even 12 primary hues on a color wheel. Mathematically, it’s seen as a composite number because it has more factors than just one and itself.

Properties of Factors

Factors have a few unique properties. Firstly, 1 and the number itself are always factors of the number. Secondly, factors of a number are always equal to or less than the number. Lastly, if ‘a’ is a factor of ‘b’, and ‘b’ is a factor of ‘c’, then ‘a’ is also a factor of ‘c’. Understanding these properties aids children in solving problems more efficiently, especially when working on fraction operations.

Properties of the Number 12

12, as a composite number, has several properties. It is an even number and divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12. The sum of its digits, 1+2, is 3, which means 12 is divisible by 3. It also is a Harshad number, which means it’s divisible by the sum of its digits.

Properties of the Factors of 12

The factors of 12 are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12. Each of these numbers has unique properties. For instance, 1 is the multiplicative identity as any number multiplied by 1 remains unchanged. 2 is the smallest even prime number. 3 is the second prime factor of 12. 4 is a square number. 6 is the smallest perfect number after 1. All these factors, when multiplied in pairs, give a product of 12.

Difference Between Prime and Composite Factors

Prime numbers are those that have only two factors: 1 and themselves. For 12, the prime factors are 2 and 3. On the other hand, composite numbers have more than two factors. In the case of 12, the composite factor is 4 and 6. Recognizing the difference between these factors is essential when children dive deeper into topics like prime factorization.

Listing Factors of 12

To list the factors of 12:

  1. Begin with the number 1. Since 1 times 12 equals 12, both 1 and 12 are factors.
  2. Next, 2 times 6 equals 12, so 2 and 6 are also factors.
  3. Then, 3 times 4 equals 12, making 3 and 4 factors as well.

This gives us the list: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12.

Practice Problems on Finding the Factors of 12

  1. If 12 chocolates are distributed equally among ‘x’ friends and each friend gets 3 chocolates, how many friends are there?
  2. Which of these numbers is NOT a factor of 12: 2, 5, 6?
  3. If you divide 12 by one of its factors, which results will you get: 12, 6, 2?


Numbers are more than just symbols on a page; they’re the building blocks of the universe. By understanding the intricacies of a foundational number like 12, we open doors to a deeper comprehension of the mathematical world around us. Brighterly is more than just a platform; it’s a bridge to a brighter future. We aim to cultivate curiosity, foster understanding, and pave the path for a lifetime of learning. As parents, educators, or simply lifelong learners, appreciating the factors of 12 is a small but significant step in this enriching journey. With every number we decipher and every concept we grasp, we inch closer to a universe filled with endless possibilities and mathematical wonders.

Frequently Asked Questions on Factors of 12

What are the prime factors of 12?

The prime factors of 12 are numbers that are prime and can divide 12 without leaving a remainder. For 12, these numbers are 2 and 3. Breaking it down, 12 can be expressed as 2 x 2 x 3. Here, both 2 and 3 are prime numbers, and when multiplied together in this manner, they give the product 12. This understanding is crucial in various mathematical domains, and at Brighterly, we emphasize this through interactive learning modules.

Is 12 a prime number?

No, 12 is not a prime number. A prime number is defined as a number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself. In the case of 12, it has multiple divisors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12. This makes it a composite number. Recognizing the difference between prime and composite numbers is an essential skill that Brighterly helps nurture in young learners.

How many factors does 12 have?

The number 12 has six factors. These are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12. Each of these numbers can divide 12 without leaving a remainder. At Brighterly, we encourage students to visualize this by using arrays or grouping methods, making it easier for them to internalize such concepts. By understanding how numbers like 12 can be divided and reconstructed using its factors, children gain a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness of numbers.

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