Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep
truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to
make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There
are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where
are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
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?
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there
is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How
about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can
this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover
an eight by eight chessboard?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
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.
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
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
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
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?
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
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?