An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you
move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up
with the same arrangement?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
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. . . .
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
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.
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.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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.
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
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?
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 stations?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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. . . .
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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...
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
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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. . . .
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both
has increased. How can this be so?
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?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
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.
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.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
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 how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.