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

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

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

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. . . .

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?

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.

Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?

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. . . .

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?

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

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

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.

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.

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

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?

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

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

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

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

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?”

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

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.

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

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

Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?

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. . . .

These gnomons appear to have more than a passing connection with the Fibonacci sequence. This problem ask you to investigate some of these connections.

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. . . .

Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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. . . .

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.

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

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.

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. . . .

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

Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?

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.

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?

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?

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. . . .

Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?