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?
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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?
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?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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?
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 asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
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?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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 a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
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 activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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. . . .
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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. . . .
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.
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.
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?
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
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?