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.
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.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
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?
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.
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.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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?
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?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and
Bharat live in.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
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.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
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?
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 different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
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 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!
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
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.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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. . . .
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?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?