Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
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?
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.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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!
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 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
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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 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!
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network
following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with
any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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.
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 arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes
totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the
different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.