When I type a sequence of letters my calculator gives the product
of all the numbers in the corresponding memories. What numbers
should I store so that when I type 'ONE' it returns 1, and when I
type. . . .
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
The sum of the first 'n' natural numbers is a 3 digit number in which all the digits are the same. How many numbers have been summed?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
What is the largest number you can make using the three digits 2, 3
and 4 in any way you like, using any operations you like? You can
only use each digit once.
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?
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
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?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which labels would you put on each row and column?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
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?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
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 clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three
dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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?
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?
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.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
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?
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?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?
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.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Investigate $1^n + 19^n + 20^n + 51^n + 57^n + 80^n + 82^n $ and $2^n + 12^n + 31^n + 40^n + 69^n + 71^n + 85^n$ for different values of n.
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
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!