This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
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?
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.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
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?
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
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.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
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. . . .
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 explain how this card trick works?
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?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
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.
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?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
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.
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?
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?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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 how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a
surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces
(top, bottom, front and back) is equal?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.