Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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
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?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
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?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
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 put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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.
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?