The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
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. . . .
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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?
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?
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three
puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
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.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
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?
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?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
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 put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
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....?
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.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
This challenge is about finding the difference between numbers which have the same tens digit.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?
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?