Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?

Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite NRICH investigations.

Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start with?

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?

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?

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?

Here is your chance to investigate the number 28 using shapes, cubes ... in fact anything at all.

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?

This problem is intended to get children to look really hard at something they will see many times in the next few months.

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?

Explore ways of colouring this set of triangles. Can you make symmetrical patterns?

Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral triangles.

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 time?

Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean in the context of primary classrooms.

Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the number 2000.

In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?

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.

Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why not?

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

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?

How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?

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.

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles triangles?

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can you find in the numbers in this box?

Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.

Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?

Investigate and explain the patterns that you see from recording just the units digits of numbers in the times tables.

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

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?

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

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.

When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?

While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?

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?

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?

Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?

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!

These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could investigate your own starting shape.