These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
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?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
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?
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!
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
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?
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.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the
labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of
four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
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?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
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
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 substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
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?
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!
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime
numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?
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.
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five
square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can
These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the multiplication sums to work out what they are?
If you had any number of ordinary dice, what are the possible ways
of making their totals 6? What would the product of the dice be
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
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.