Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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?
There are over sixty different ways of making 24 by adding,
subtracting, multiplying and dividing all four numbers 4, 6, 6 and
8 (using each number only once). How many can you find?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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 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.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
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.
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
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
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?
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?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
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?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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.
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?
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!
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?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
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
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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.
This is an adding game for two players.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?
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.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
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?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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!
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the