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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
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?
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?
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?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you
go first or second?
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.
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what
you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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.
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
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
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative 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.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
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.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of
squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
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.
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?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
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
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. . . .