This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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?
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
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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 out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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.
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?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
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?
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.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
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.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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.