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?
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to
find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's
finishing position was.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
Find another number that is one short of a square number and when
you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.
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.
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.
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.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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?
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?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
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?
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?
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?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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.
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
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?
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?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number
system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a
look at the multiplications table.
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?
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?
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
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?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
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?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
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!
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?
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.