Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
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?
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?
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
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!
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?
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?
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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
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?
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?
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
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.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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!
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?
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.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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.
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 focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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?
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next
to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M.
What order were they in?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
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.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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.?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the
clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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.