Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
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.
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.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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
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.
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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.
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 two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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.
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?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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.
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.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she
does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are
the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
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 stations?
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.
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.
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?
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?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
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 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