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 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.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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.
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?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
What is the sum of all the three digit whole 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?
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?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible 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?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Find another number that is one short of a square number and when
you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
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?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the
four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
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
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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
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.
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
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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 were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
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.
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Susie took cherries out of a bowl by following a certain pattern.
How many cherries had there been in the bowl to start with if she
was left with 14 single ones?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
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?
Put a number at the top of the machine and collect a number at the
bottom. What do you get? Which numbers get back to themselves?