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. . . .
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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?"
Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a
product consisting entirely of ones.
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?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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!
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
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.
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!
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?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
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?
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 order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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?
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?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
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.
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
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
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel
along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the
shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?