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.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
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?
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?
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.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
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?
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?
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.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
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?
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?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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.
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!
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
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.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
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.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?
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?
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?
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!