A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

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?

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?”

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

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

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.

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?

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

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.

An AP rectangle is one whose area is numerically equal to its perimeter. If you are given the length of a side can you always find an AP rectangle with one side the given length?

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.

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = nÂ² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

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. . . .

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who are even older than he is... When was he born?

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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?

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

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.

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

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. . . .

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

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.

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...