The red ring is inside the blue ring in this picture. Can you
rearrange the rings in different ways? Perhaps you can overlap them
or put one outside another?
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different
ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each
Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
This problem is intended to get children to look really hard at something they will see many times in the next few months.
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
Explore ways of colouring this set of triangles. Can you make
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5
grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand
point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can
you find in the numbers in this box?
Investigate the different ways these aliens count in this
challenge. You could start by thinking about how each of them would
write our number 7.
Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look
the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and
Here is your chance to investigate the number 28 using shapes,
cubes ... in fact anything at all.
Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number
system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a
look at the multiplications table.
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of
numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What
happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you
change the position of the jigsaws?
Follow the directions for circling numbers in the matrix. Add all
the circled numbers together. Note your answer. Try again with a
different starting number. What do you notice?
Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the
In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone
numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a
sequence adding 2 each time?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the
paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a
special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in
one shop, where would be the cheapest?
These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?
This activity asks you to collect information about the birds you
see in the garden. Are there patterns in the data or do the birds
seem to visit randomly?
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the
result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different
numbers and different rules.
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What
would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the
direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the
path it's already made.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to
ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the
latest developments and questions.
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16
pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these
pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they
usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many
altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?