If you put three beads onto a tens/ones abacus you could make the
numbers 3, 30, 12 or 21. What numbers can be made with six beads?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
What two-digit numbers can you make with these two dice? What can't you make?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime
numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?
Jack has nine tiles. He put them together to make a square so that two tiles of the same colour were not beside each other. Can you find another way to do it?
Arrange 3 red, 3 blue and 3 yellow counters into a three-by-three square grid, so that there is only one of each colour in every row and every column
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Can you see who the gold medal winner is? What about the silver medal winner and the bronze medal winner?
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 can you stack these rods, following the rules?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
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?
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
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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?
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?
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one
minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the
real time) they arrived at the airport.
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?
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes
totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the
different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.