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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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.
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
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
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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.
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is
the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images
help to explain this?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
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.
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
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.
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.
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
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?