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.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can
this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover
an eight by eight chessboard?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
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.
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Use the clues to colour each square.
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?
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?
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?
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?
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?
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 different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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. . . .
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
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?
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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....?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
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?
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
If you hang two weights on one side of this balance, in how many different ways can you hang three weights on the other side for it to be balanced?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.