The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

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?

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

The diagram shows a 5 by 5 geoboard with 25 pins set out in a square array. Squares are made by stretching rubber bands round specific pins. What is the total number of squares that can be made on a. . . .

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. . . .

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

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. . . .

Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”

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.

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

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?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

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?

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

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.

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?

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.

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

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.

We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

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?

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?

Are these statements 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.

Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

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?

This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.