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
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length
of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
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?
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
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!
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?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
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?
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 make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
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.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
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?
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?
Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to do. . . .
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
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
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
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.
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?
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?
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.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Fancy a game of cricket? Here is a mathematical version you can play indoors without breaking any windows.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!