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?
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.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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...
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?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
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
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.
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?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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.
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found 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.
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?
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!
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
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a
triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word
ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Can you order the digits from 1-6 to make a number which is
divisible by 6 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a
5-figure number divisible by 5, and so on?
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
A Sudoku with clues as ratios or fractions.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
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?
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has
taken? What does each face look like?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
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!
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?