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?
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?
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
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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?
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.
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!
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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
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 can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three
biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with
two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the
clues to work out were each person is sitting.
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are
consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight
and 7 a.m.?
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They
decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with
each of the others. What was the total number rides?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on
wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works
using the table of the alphabet?