Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative 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.
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.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Can you explain how this card trick works?
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?
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?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
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?
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
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
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?
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both
has increased. How can this be so?
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?
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?
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. . . .
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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?
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.
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.
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.
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
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?
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?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.