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
On a farm there were some hens and sheep. Altogether there were 8
heads and 22 feet. How many hens were there?
Try grouping the dominoes in the ways described. Are there any left
over each time? Can you explain why?
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.
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?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
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?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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!
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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?
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?
In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make 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?
Can you arrange fifteen dominoes so that all the touching domino
pieces add to 6 and the ends join up? Can you make all the joins
add to 7?
Sam got into an elevator. He went down five floors, up six floors, down seven floors, then got out on the second floor. On what floor did he get on?
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
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
Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?
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?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
A game for 2 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
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?
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?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
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?
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?
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three
puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
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.
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
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?
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?
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?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.