Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
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
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?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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?
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?
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 find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
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?
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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.
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
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z
coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that
cannot be made? How do you know?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of
squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle
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.
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of
each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to
be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
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?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight
from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by
99 square board?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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.
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?
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?