This project challenges you to work out the number of cubes hidden
under a cloth. What questions would you like to ask?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to
ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the
latest developments and questions.
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.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
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
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
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?
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.
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two
ladybirds in every column and every row.
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
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?
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!
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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.
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?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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!
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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?
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?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
Jack's mum bought some candles to use on his birthday cakes and when his sister was born, she used them on her cakes too. Can you use the information to find out when Kate was born?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
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?
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?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?