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?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
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.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
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?
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
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?
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.
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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?
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.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
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?
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?