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.
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
A collection of games on the NIM theme
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
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.
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?”
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
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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?
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.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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
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.
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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.
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.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
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?
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?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
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?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
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!