For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3
digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits
you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten.
Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
Can you explain how this card trick works?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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?
Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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?
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?
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 work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you
go first or second?
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.
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
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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.
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. . . .
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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. . . .
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of
adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain
why and prove it?
Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the
digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what
happens in general.
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.
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number
you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number
you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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.
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
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.
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to
visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five
stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
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?
Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they
cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What
patterns could they see?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
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?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...