This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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?
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.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
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?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
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?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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.
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?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
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?
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?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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. . . .
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?
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?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of 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?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
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.
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.