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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Teddy Town

Stage: 1, 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Twinkle Twinkle

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Lots of Lollies

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Growing Garlic

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.

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Whose Face?

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

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Sitting Round the Party Tables

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.

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Ladybird Box

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.

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Mixed-up Socks

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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First Connect Three

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Unit Differences

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge is about finding the difference between numbers which have the same tens digit.

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Tea Cups

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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Counting Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?

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1 to 8

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.

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Fault-free Rectangles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.

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Family Tree

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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First Connect Three for Two

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Creating Cubes

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Pouring the Punch Drink

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.

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Two Dice

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.

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Octa Space

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Chocs, Mints, Jellies

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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!

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Find the Difference

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

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What Shape and Colour?

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you fill in the empty boxes in the grid with the right shape and colour?

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Prison Cells

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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One to Fifteen

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?

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Difference

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

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Making Maths: Double-sided Magic Square

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

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2,4,6,8

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?

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The Add and Take-away Path

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?

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Chocoholics

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?

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Button-up Some More

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

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Button-up

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?

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Games Related to Nim

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

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Inky Cube

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?

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Maths Trails

Stage: 2 and 3

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.

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Wag Worms

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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Winning the Lottery

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the chance of winning?

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Inside Triangles

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?

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Triangles All Around

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and find their angles?

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More and More Buckets

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?

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Neighbours

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?

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Are You Well Balanced?

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more than one weight on a hook.

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A Square of Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?

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Late Again

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?

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Jigsaw Pieces

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Code Breaker

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Making Trains

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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An Introduction to Magic Squares

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

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Whose Sandwich?

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.