What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
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?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
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?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
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.
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....?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
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!
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
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?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network
following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with
any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
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.
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!