Look at what happens when you take a number, square it and subtract your answer. What kind of number do you get? Can you prove it?
This problem is designed to help children to learn, and to use, the two and three times tables.
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?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
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.
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
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?
Using some or all of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and using the digits 3, 3, 8 and 8 each once and only once make an expression equal to 24.
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?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
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?
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of
plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in
each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Here is a picnic that Petros and Michael are going to share equally. Can you tell us what each of them will have?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
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.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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?
This challenge combines addition, multiplication, perseverance and even proof.
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!
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?
Chandrika was practising a long distance run. Can you work out how
long the race was from the information?
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
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?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
Grandma found her pie balanced on the scale with two weights and a
quarter of a pie. So how heavy was each pie?
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
What is happening at each box in these machines?
This Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
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?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to
ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the
latest developments and questions.
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the
result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different
numbers and different rules.
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
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?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Resources to support understanding of multiplication and division through playing with number.
In November, Liz was interviewed for an article on a parents' website about learning times tables. Read the article here.