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 draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so
that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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?
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which labels would you put on each row and column?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
These sixteen children are standing in four lines of four, one behind the other. They are each holding a card with a number on it. Can you work out the missing numbers?
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?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your
calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add,
subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
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?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
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?
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?
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.
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?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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!
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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.
This is an adding game for two players.
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?
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.
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.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
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?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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.
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?
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?