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?

Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?

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.

For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

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

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.

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?

These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?

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

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

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?

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

Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?

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?

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.

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?

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

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?

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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?

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

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.

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

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?

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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?

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.

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. . . .

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

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.

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.

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

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 find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4

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

A package contains a set of resources designed to develop pupils’ mathematical thinking. This package places a particular emphasis on “generalising” and is designed to meet the. . . .

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

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?

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.

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .