This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
Ahmed is making rods using different numbers of cubes. Which rod is twice the length of his first rod?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
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?
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals
of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not
using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in
whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
If you had any number of ordinary dice, what are the possible ways
of making their totals 6? What would the product of the dice be
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?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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.
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
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.
Can you hang weights in the right place to make the equaliser
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
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.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
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!
If you hang two weights on one side of this balance, in how many different ways can you hang three weights on the other side for it to be balanced?
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?
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
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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!
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?
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
This is an adding game for two players.
Leah and Tom each have a number line. Can you work out where their counters will land? What are the secret jumps they make with their counters?