In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
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 DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles
using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What
other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
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?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
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?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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. . . .
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?
Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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....?
Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel
along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the
shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
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?