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?
Choose a symbol to put into the number sentence.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?
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?
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
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?
Can you complete this jigsaw of the multiplication square?
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.
56 406 is the product of two consecutive numbers. What are these
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one solution in each case?
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?
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the
four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
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 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?
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
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.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
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 using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
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?
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
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?
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 arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?