Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
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.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
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.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that
cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can
make? And the greatest?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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
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.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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.
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?
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?
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.
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?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.