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?

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

Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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 recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.

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

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?

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

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

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.

We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?

Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.

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?

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

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?

A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.

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 cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.

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?

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

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

Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?

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.

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.

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

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 Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.

Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.

In this Sudoku, there are three coloured "islands" in the 9x9 grid. Within each "island" EVERY group of nine cells that form a 3x3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9.

A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.

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

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

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

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