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?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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.
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.
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.
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?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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?
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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.
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Can you explain how this card trick works?
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 focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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.
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 find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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
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. . . .
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
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?
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?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
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.
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on