This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
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.
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
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 many models can you find which obey these rules?
Take three differently coloured blocks - maybe red, yellow and blue. Make a tower using one of each colour. How many different towers can you make?
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?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.
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?
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?
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?
Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the information to find out how long each road is on the route she took.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more than one weight on a hook.
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
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....?
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?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
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 your own.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
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?