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.

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?

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?

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

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?

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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?

Special clue numbers related to the difference between numbers in two adjacent cells and values of the stars in the "constellation" make this a doubly interesting problem.

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.

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.

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?

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

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?

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?

Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?

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?

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?

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?

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

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.

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

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?

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

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

The puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers which are either placed on the border lines between selected pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid or placed after slash marks on. . . .

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

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

This package contains a collection of problems from the NRICH website that could be suitable for students who have a good understanding of Factors and Multiples and who feel ready to take on some. . . .

A pair of Sudokus with lots in common. In fact they are the same problem but rearranged. Can you find how they relate to solve them both?

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

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?

Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow your logic?

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

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?

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

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?