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.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
If you have ten counters numbered 1 to 10, how many can you put into pairs that add to 10? Which ones do you have to leave out? Why?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
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?
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?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
There are over sixty different ways of making 24 by adding,
subtracting, multiplying and dividing all four numbers 4, 6, 6 and
8 (using each number only once). How many can you find?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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?
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 do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
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?
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which
labels would you put on each row and column?
Are these domino games fair? Can you explain why or why not?
Use the interactivities to fill in these Carroll diagrams. How do you know where to place the numbers?
As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?
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?
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?
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?
Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they
cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What
patterns could they see?
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
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
In this calculation, the box represents a missing digit. What could the digit be? What would the solution be in each case?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Claire thinks she has the most sports cards in her album. "I have
12 pages with 2 cards on each page", says Claire. Ross counts his
cards. "No! I have 3 cards on each of my pages and there are. . . .
On a farm there were some hens and sheep. Altogether there were 8 heads and 22 feet. How many hens were there?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
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?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Use five steps to count forwards or backwards in 1s or 10s to get to 50. What strategies did you use?
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?
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?
Use the number weights to find different ways of balancing the equaliser.
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?