During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length
of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
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
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
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
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.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework.
After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do
this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
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.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
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?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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?
Max and Mandy put their number lines together to make a graph. How
far had each of them moved along and up from 0 to get the counter
to the place marked?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
Find out why these matrices are magic. Can you work out how they were made? Can you make your own Magic Matrix?
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?
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.
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
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock
face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions
differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not
using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in
whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
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?
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.
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
This is an adding game for two players.
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?
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of
words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when
you count the letters in each word?