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?
Choose a symbol to put into the number sentence.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
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!
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?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
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.
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
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 the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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 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?
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 six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which
labels would you put on each row and column?
This is an adding game for two players.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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?
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?
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!
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?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
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?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
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?
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged
the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same
total. What was the total and how could this be done?
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers
on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the
number line first?
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.
Have a go at this game which involves throwing two dice and adding
their totals. Where should you place your counters to be more
likely to win?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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!
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
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.
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
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?
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.
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?