If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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?
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
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
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?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
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?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once.
Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only
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.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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?
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?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
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?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
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?
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?
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?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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).
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
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
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.
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.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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.
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
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?
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?
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?
Whenever two chameleons of different colours meet they change
colour to the third colour. Describe the shortest sequence of
meetings in which all the chameleons change to green if you start
with 12. . . .
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 challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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 section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?