How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
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?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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
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?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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 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.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you
go first or second?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
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?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what
you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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.
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.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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?
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.
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
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.
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
pupils’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “generalising” and is designed
to meet the. . . .
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number
you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number
you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of
squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle
numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the
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?
Start with two numbers. This is the start of a sequence. The next
number is the average of the last two numbers. Continue the
sequence. What will happen if you carry on for ever?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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. . . .
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