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.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
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.
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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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?
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of
numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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.
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.
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
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?
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 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 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.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
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?
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?
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?
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can
you find in the numbers in this box?
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.
In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s,
3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
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!
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
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
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?
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?
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?
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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?
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?
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?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.