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.
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?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and
Bharat live in.
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.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days
as possible, how many days can their fun last?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
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.
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?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
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?
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 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?
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?
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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.
How many possible necklaces can you find? And how do you know you've found them all?
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....?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?