What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
On a farm there were some hens and sheep. Altogether there were 8 heads and 22 feet. How many hens were there?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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?
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.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
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.
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so
that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
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?
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?
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres.
Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your
calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add,
subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
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?
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.
Annie and Ben are playing a game with a calculator. What was
Annie's secret number?
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
Amy has a box containing domino pieces but she does not think it is a complete set. She has 24 dominoes in her box and there are 125 spots on them altogether. Which of her domino pieces are missing?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs
exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how
many lemons there are?
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to
find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's
finishing position was.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
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
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
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?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
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?