This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
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?
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.
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no
mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there
more than one way to do it?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have
forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an
8. How many possible combinations are there to try?
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there
is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How
about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a
rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle
pieces could there be?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They
decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with
each of the others. What was the total number rides?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is
designed to meet. . . .
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There
are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many
different ways can they build their houses?
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He
can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you
find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.