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?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Roll two red dice and a green dice. Add the two numbers on the red dice and take away the number on the green. What are all the different possibilities that could come up?
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?
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
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
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!
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
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?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the
numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the
rule for giving another set of six numbers?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
This is an adding game for two players.
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
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.
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
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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!
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
How could you arrange at least two dice in a stack so that the total of the visible spots is 18?
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
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
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?