In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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?
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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 ...?
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?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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 continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
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?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
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?
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.
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
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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. . . .
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a
pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow
paint on their faces?