A combination mechanism for a safe comprises thirty-two tumblers
numbered from one to thirty-two in such a way that the numbers in
each wheel total 132... Could you open the safe?
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. . . .
Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit
numbers such that their total is close to 1500?
Investigate $1^n + 19^n + 20^n + 51^n + 57^n + 80^n + 82^n $ and $2^n + 12^n + 31^n + 40^n + 69^n + 71^n + 85^n$ for different values of n.
What is the largest number you can make using the three digits 2, 3
and 4 in any way you like, using any operations you like? You can
only use each digit once.
Ann thought of 5 numbers and told Bob all the sums that could be made by adding the numbers in pairs. The list of sums is 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10,10, 11, 12. Help Bob to find out which numbers Ann was. . . .
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter
represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once
it must represent the same digit each time.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
There are exactly 3 ways to add 4 odd numbers to get 10. Find all
the ways of adding 8 odd numbers to get 20. To be sure of getting
all the solutions you will need to be systematic. What about. . . .
Find the numbers in this sum
When I type a sequence of letters my calculator gives the product
of all the numbers in the corresponding memories. What numbers
should I store so that when I type 'ONE' it returns 1, and when I
type. . . .
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
The sum of the first 'n' natural numbers is a 3 digit number in which all the digits are the same. How many numbers have been summed?
You have four jugs of 9, 7, 4 and 2 litres capacity. The 9 litre
jug is full of wine, the others are empty. Can you divide the wine
into three equal quantities?
Tell your friends that you have a strange calculator that turns
numbers backwards. What secret number do you have to enter to make
141 414 turn around?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
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?
This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
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?
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of
words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when
you count the letters in each word?