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?

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.

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

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

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?

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

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?

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

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

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?

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.

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.

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?

A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.

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?

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.

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.

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

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.

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

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

Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?

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.

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.

There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?

Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?

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

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

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. . . .

You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find the digits and then solve the 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?

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

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?

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 is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.

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

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

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