The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

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 happens?

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?

Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

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.

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?

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.

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.

Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?

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.

Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.

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?

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?

Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?

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.

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?

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 can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.

Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.

Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?

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?

Benâ€™s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?

What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?

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?

Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?

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?

This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!

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.

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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 a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.

Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?

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?

Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?

Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?