In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
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 primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
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.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
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?
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 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.
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?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
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. . . .
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.
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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....?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
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 put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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 put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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.
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
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?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
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.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of