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?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
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.
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals
of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the
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?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
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.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
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?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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?
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?
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.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side 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?
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.
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
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
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?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the
labels. Can you help relabel them?
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.
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?
In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone
numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a
sequence adding 2 each time?
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?
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?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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!
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?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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.
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps
and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?