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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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.
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.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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.
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
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?
Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
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!
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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?
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?
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?
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
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.
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?
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.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
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. . . .
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
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.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
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?
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.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen
congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who
are even older than he is... When was he born?