Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your
calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add,
subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Can you make a cycle of pairs that add to make a square number
using all the numbers in the box below, once and once only?
Starting with the number 180, take away 9 again and again, joining up the dots as you go. Watch out - don't join all the dots!
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Choose a symbol to put into the number sentence.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3
cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue
cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which
labels would you put on each row and column?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
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!
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes.
If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you
picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
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?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
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!
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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
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.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps
and ice-cream cost altogether.
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.
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.
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so
that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as
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?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
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.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.