Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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
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.
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?
Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look
the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length
of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
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?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
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?
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?
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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?
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!
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 this problem you have to place four by four magic squares on the
faces of a cube so that along each edge of the cube the numbers
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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 eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.