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?
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
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?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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!
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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?
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.
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?
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
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?
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
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.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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.
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
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
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 could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range
in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact
ages from the clues?
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?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.