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.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next
to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M.
What order were they in?
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?
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on
wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works
using the table of the alphabet?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
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?
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?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?
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.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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.
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more
and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?
Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He
can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you
find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?
Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no
mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there
more than one way to do it?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?