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?”

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.

Investigate sequences given by $a_n = \frac{1+a_{n-1}}{a_{n-2}}$ for different choices of the first two terms. Make a conjecture about the behaviour of these sequences. Can you prove your conjecture?

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?

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

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

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. . . .

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?

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

Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?

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.

If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.

What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?

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?

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

What is the volume of the solid formed by rotating this right angled triangle about the hypotenuse?

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.

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. . . .

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

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?

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

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

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.

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

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?

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

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

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 moves.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

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 loser is the player who takes the last counter.

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

Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?

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

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

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

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.

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?