Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have
forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an
8. How many possible combinations are there to try?
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!
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.
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?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this
Lorenzie was packing his bag for a school trip. He packed four
shirts and three pairs of pants. "I will be able to have a
different outfit each day", he said. How many days will Lorenzie be
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a
rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle
pieces could there be?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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 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!
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?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
In this calculation, the box represents a missing digit. What could the digit be? What would the solution be in each case?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Use the numbers and symbols to make this number sentence correct. How many different ways can you find?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and
Bharat live in.
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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 order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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.