An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
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
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you 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?
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!
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
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!
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?
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?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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?
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?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
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 make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape
of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get
from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
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?
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?
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.
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three
biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with
two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
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?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?