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.
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?
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!
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 the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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.
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
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?
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.
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?
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
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.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
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?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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!
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?
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?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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 draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so
that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
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?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
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?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
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?
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?