These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be
put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways
that this can be done?
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?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
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?
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 put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
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.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
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?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have 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?
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 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 is an adding game for two players.
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
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.
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
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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!
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!
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.
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?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
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?
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 numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
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?
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
How could you arrange at least two dice in a stack so that the total of the visible spots is 18?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?