Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
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?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
Chandrika was practising a long distance run. Can you work out how
long the race was from the information?
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?
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
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?
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!
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
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?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
This problem is designed to help children to learn, and to use, the two and three times tables.
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?
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!
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?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
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?
Claire thinks she has the most sports cards in her album. "I have
12 pages with 2 cards on each page", says Claire. Ross counts his
cards. "No! I have 3 cards on each of my pages and there are. . . .
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
At the beginning of May Tom put his tomato plant outside. On the
same day he sowed a bean in another pot. When will the two be the
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
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?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the
labels. Can you help relabel them?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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?
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?
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 find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Put a number at the top of the machine and collect a number at the
bottom. What do you get? Which numbers get back to themselves?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they
usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many
altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?