Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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 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
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!
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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.
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
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.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
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.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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.
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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?
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.