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 continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
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
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
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?
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.
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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?
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?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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?
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.
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.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Start with two numbers. This is the start of a sequence. The next
number is the average of the last two numbers. Continue the
sequence. What will happen if you carry on for ever?
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?
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.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
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?
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?