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.
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?
Arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 so that between the two 1's
there is one digit, between the two 2's there are two digits, and
between the two 3's there are three digits.
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!
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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 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!
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
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?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
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.
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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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?
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?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
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.
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?
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?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
If you had any number of ordinary dice, what are the possible ways
of making their totals 6? What would the product of the dice be
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?