The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?

Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can you make? Convince us you have found them all.

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

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...

This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?

If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?

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?

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?

Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a product consisting entirely of ones.

Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?

Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?

Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.

A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.

A package contains a set of resources designed to develop students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is designed to meet. . . .

There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.

A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How can her answer be the same as the total at the till?

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?

Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.

An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?

Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?

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?

A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?