Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house numbers.
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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?
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 jugs.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.
Are these domino games fair? Can you explain why or why not?
Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and find out!
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
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.
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.
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?
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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 happens?
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.
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework. After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
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 yourself.
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.
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.
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 ...
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
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?
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?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
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?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
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.