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?
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Here is a picnic that Petros and Michael are going to share equally. Can you tell us what each of them will have?
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.
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?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
56 406 is the product of two consecutive numbers. What are these
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
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?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
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?
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
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?
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
Resources to support understanding of multiplication and division through playing with number.
Take the number 6 469 693 230 and divide it by the first ten prime
numbers and you'll find the most beautiful, most magic of all
numbers. What is it?
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?
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?
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.
These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the multiplication sums to work out what they are?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
In November, Liz was interviewed for an article on a parents' website about learning times tables. Read the article here.
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
After training hard, these two children have improved their
results. Can you work out the length or height of their first
This problem is designed to help children to learn, and to use, the two and three times tables.
Chandrika was practising a long distance run. Can you work out how
long the race was from the information?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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?
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?
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!
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they
cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What
patterns could they see?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
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 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?
Can you order the digits from 1-6 to make a number which is
divisible by 6 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a
5-figure number divisible by 5, and so on?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?