Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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.
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is
the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images
help to explain this?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
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.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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 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?
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?
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?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
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?
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
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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. . . .
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.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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.
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.
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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. . . .
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.