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?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?
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.
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
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?
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?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
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?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
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.
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.
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
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.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
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.
Take ten sticks in heaps any way you like. Make a new heap using one from each of the heaps. By repeating that process could the arrangement 7 - 1 - 1 - 1 ever turn up, except by starting with it?
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?
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 Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
Roll two red dice and a green dice. Add the two numbers on the red dice and take away the number on the green. What are all the different possibilities that could come up?
Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?
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!
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?
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?
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?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a
triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word
ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
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?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about
the relationship between them?
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?
In this article for teachers, Bernard gives an example of taking an
initial activity and getting questions going that lead to other
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.
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?