On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the
four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Arrange the numbers 1 to 6 in each set of circles below. The sum of each side of the triangle should equal the number in its centre.
On a farm there were some hens and sheep. Altogether there were 8 heads and 22 feet. How many hens were there?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and
diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American
Flag magic square.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
The Scot, John Napier, invented these strips about 400 years ago to
help calculate multiplication and division. Can you work out how to
use Napier's bones to find the answer to these multiplications?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
Woof is a big dog. Yap is a little dog.
Emma has 16 dog biscuits to give to the two dogs.
She gave Woof 4 more biscuits than Yap.
How many biscuits did each dog get?
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
There are three baskets, a brown one, a red one and a pink one, holding a total of 10 eggs. Can you use the information given to find out how many eggs are in each basket?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged
the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same
total. What was the total and how could this be done?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number
system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a
look at the multiplications table.
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
Annie cut this numbered cake into 3 pieces with 3 cuts so that the
numbers on each piece added to the same total. Where were the cuts
and what fraction of the whole cake was each piece?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves
there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a
twig and a leaf.
Tell your friends that you have a strange calculator that turns
numbers backwards. What secret number do you have to enter to make
141 414 turn around?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range
in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact
ages from the clues?
On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the
result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different
numbers and different rules.
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
This activity is best done with a whole class or in a large group. Can you match the cards? What happens when you add pairs of the numbers together?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
In this calculation, the box represents a missing digit. What could the digit be? What would the solution be in each case?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.