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.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
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
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?
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?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
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.
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
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?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Dotty Six game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have three sixes in a straight line?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
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?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Dotty Six is a simple dice game that you can adapt in many ways.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers
on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the
number line first?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
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
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?
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?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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 work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
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?
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged
the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same
total. What was the total and how could this be done?
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?