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?
Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime
numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Sally and Ben were drawing shapes in chalk on the school
playground. Can you work out what shapes each of them drew using
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Can you order the digits from 1-6 to make a number which is
divisible by 6 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a
5-figure number divisible by 5, and so on?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
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.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
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.
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?
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?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape
of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get
from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
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
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5
grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand
point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
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!
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
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?
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
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.