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 Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
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?
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.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days
as possible, how many days can their fun last?
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?
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
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.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and
Bharat live in.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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.
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this
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?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
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.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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 many models can you find which obey these rules?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape
of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get
from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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?
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
Can you fill in the empty boxes in the grid with the right shape