Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
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 arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out
what the coins are?
You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier
than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two
weighings of the balance?
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?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
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!
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?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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!
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
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.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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.
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.
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
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?
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...
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?
George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more
and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?