This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
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?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
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 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. . . .
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?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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!
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?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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.
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?
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
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?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
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 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.
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.
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
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.
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
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?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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!
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
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?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
This is an adding game for two players.