Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
This big box multiplies anything that goes inside it by the same number. If you know the numbers that come out, what multiplication might be going on in the box?
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
56 406 is the product of two consecutive numbers. What are these
A 3 digit number is multiplied by a 2 digit number and the
calculation is written out as shown with a digit in place of each
of the *'s. Complete the whole multiplication sum.
Here is a picnic that Petros and Michael are going to share equally. Can you tell us what each of them will have?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
This problem is designed to help children to learn, and to use, the two and three times tables.
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
After training hard, these two children have improved their results. Can you work out the length or height of their first jumps?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
All the girls would like a puzzle each for Christmas and all the
boys would like a book each. Solve the riddle to find out how many
puzzles and books Santa left.
Using the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 once and only once, and the
operations x and ÷ once and only once, what is the smallest
whole number you can make?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
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?
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.
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!
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?
There are four equal weights on one side of the scale and an apple
on the other side. What can you say that is true about the apple
and the weights from the picture?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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!
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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.
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?
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?
Grandma found her pie balanced on the scale with two weights and a
quarter of a pie. So how heavy was each pie?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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 product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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
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.
This challenge is a game for two players. Choose two numbers from the grid and multiply or divide, then mark your answer on the number line. Can you get four in a row before your partner?
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.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
The number 8888...88M9999...99 is divisible by 7 and it starts with
the digit 8 repeated 50 times and ends with the digit 9 repeated 50
times. What is the value of the digit M?
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
I'm thinking of a number. When my number is divided by 5 the
remainder is 4. When my number is divided by 3 the remainder is 2.
Can you find my number?
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?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Resources to support understanding of multiplication and division through playing with number.
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.