Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be
put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways
that this can be done?
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?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
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.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
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?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
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 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!
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
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?
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 many different sets of numbers with at least four members can
you find in the numbers in this box?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
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?
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Here is your chance to investigate the number 28 using shapes,
cubes ... in fact anything at all.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?