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. . . .
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
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 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?
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
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?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
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?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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 put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he 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.
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?
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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 task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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
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!
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.
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?
Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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?
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?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals
of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
How could you arrange at least two dice in a stack so that the total of the visible spots is 18?