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?
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.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
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?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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.
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
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?
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?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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 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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
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.
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
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?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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
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?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
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!
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
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.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have 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).
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
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?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What
happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you
change the position of the jigsaws?
This challenge combines addition, multiplication, perseverance and even proof.
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?