A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using
a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How
can her answer be the same as the total at the till?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125 If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks
and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter
of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to
Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
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.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence
to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make
all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort
them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we
arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that
they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can
you investigate all the different possibilities?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of
plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in
each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
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?
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one
minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the
real time) they arrived at the airport.
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
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?
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
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 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?
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?
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
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?
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.
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.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
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.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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?
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?
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
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5
grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand
point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
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!