This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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?
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
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?
What two-digit numbers can you make with these two dice? What can't you make?
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one solution in each case?
This activity focuses on rounding to the nearest 10.
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?
In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make the same total?
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Use the numbers and symbols to make this number sentence correct. How many different ways can you find?
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
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.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then
back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the
information to find out how long each road is on the route she
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of