Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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 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 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?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
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.
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
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?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
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 why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Can you explain how this card trick works?
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
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
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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 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?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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 many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
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
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?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten.
Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
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?