In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and
Bharat live in.
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days
as possible, how many days can their fun last?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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?
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
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 find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
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.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
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.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?