Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
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 two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
A collection of games on the NIM theme
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players
take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single
pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten
numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight
from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by
99 square board?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is
the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images
help to explain this?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable.
Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What
number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to
dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you
move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up
with the same arrangement?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the
numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the
rule for giving another set of six numbers?