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?

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

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?

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.

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?

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?

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

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

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.

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?

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?

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

You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?

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

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

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.

Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.

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 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?

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?

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

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?

First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.

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?

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

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?

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

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

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

A Latin square of order n is an array of n symbols in which each symbol occurs exactly once in each row and exactly once in each column.

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

You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.

Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.

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?

Move your counters through this snake of cards and see how far you can go. Are you surprised by where you end up?

Take three whole numbers. The differences between them give you three new numbers. Find the differences between the new numbers and keep repeating this. What happens?

This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.

This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.

A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.

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

If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

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 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. . . .

This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?