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.

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?

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?

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

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?

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

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?

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.

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?

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

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?

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...

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?

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?

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.

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

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?

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?

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.

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?

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

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.

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?

A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.

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

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".

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

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?

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

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

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. . . .

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

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

Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.

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?

Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME

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

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

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

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.

This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

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

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