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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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.
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
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
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.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
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 put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
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 two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two 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.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
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?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
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.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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.
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?
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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.
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. . . .
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
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
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
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.