An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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. . . .
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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
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?
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.
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. . . .
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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?
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?
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 activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
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?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter
(p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship
between p, i and the area of the polygons.
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?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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 put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?