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.
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?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
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?
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?
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?
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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.
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?
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
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?
Find another number that is one short of a square number and when
you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.
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?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received 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
Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look
the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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
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.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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?
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?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?