Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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
Susie took cherries out of a bowl by following a certain pattern.
How many cherries had there been in the bowl to start with if she
was left with 14 single ones?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What
happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you
change the position of the jigsaws?
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
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?
Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?
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.
On Planet Plex, there are only 6 hours in the day. Can you answer
these questions about how Arog the Alien spends his day?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
At the beginning of May Tom put his tomato plant outside. On the
same day he sowed a bean in another pot. When will the two be the
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
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.
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).
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.
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?
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the
numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the
rule for giving another set of six numbers?
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.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and
diagonal equal to 15.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
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
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
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?
As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of
words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when
you count the letters in each word?
These sixteen children are standing in four lines of four, one
behind the other. They are each holding a card with a number on it.
Can you work out the missing numbers?
This is an adding game for two players.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.