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

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.

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. . . .

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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. . . .

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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.

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?

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

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?

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

Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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

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?

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

An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.

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. . . .

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

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. . . .

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?

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. . . .

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.

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. . . .

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

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

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?”

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

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

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.

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?

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.

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

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...

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

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