Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
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.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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
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.
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?
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.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
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. . . .
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
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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
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.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled