The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

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 arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

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?

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.

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?

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?

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.

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.

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.

An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".

Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME

Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.

This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?

Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?

A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.

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?

The puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers which are either placed on the border lines between selected pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid or placed after slash marks on. . . .

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 article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

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.

A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by saying, "Well, how old are they?"

You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.

Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a product consisting entirely of ones.

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

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.

Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.

In this Sudoku, there are three coloured "islands" in the 9x9 grid. Within each "island" EVERY group of nine cells that form a 3x3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9.

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?

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

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.

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?

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent 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.

A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.