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.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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. . . .
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?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
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?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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?
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?
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?
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.
Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
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
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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.
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?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
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?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
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.
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
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 would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled