In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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?
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
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?
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?
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 challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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.
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.
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?
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.
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
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?
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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!
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
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?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?