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.

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

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?

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?

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.

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?

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

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

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?

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

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

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.

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?

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.

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 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?

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?

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?

A package contains a set of resources designed to develop students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is designed to meet. . . .

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.

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

This package contains a collection of problems from the NRICH website that could be suitable for students who have a good understanding of Factors and Multiples and who feel ready to take on some. . . .

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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?"

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

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

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

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

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?

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?

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

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?

A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.

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.

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?

Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?