You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
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
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!
In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
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.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
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!
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three
puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
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
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape
of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get
from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square
hole for each disc. Use the information to find out how many discs
of each colour there are in the box.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
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?
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has
taken? What does each face look like?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a
rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle
pieces could there be?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network
following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with
any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
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?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?