In this calculation, the box represents a missing digit. What could the digit be? What would the solution be in each case?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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.
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?
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.
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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?
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!
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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
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?
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!
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.
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?
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.
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
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
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.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.