Working Backwards at KS1

Starting from the end sounds rather strange, but in fact can be a very useful problem-solving skill.  These activities lend themselves to being tackled in this way.

What Was in the Box?

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

This big box adds something to any number that goes into it. If you know the numbers that come out, what addition might be going on in the box?

Number Lines

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

A resource to try once children are familiar with number lines, and they have begun to use them for addition. It could be a good way to talk about subtraction. Leah and Tom each have a number line. Can you work out where their counters will land?

Secret Number

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Annie and Ben are playing a game with a calculator. What was Annie's secret number?

The Tall Tower

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?

Growing Garlic

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.

Stop the Clock

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

This is a game for two players. Can you find out how to be the first to get to 12 o'clock?

Doing and Undoing

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

An investigation looking at doing and undoing mathematical operations focusing on doubling, halving, adding and subtracting.

Junior Frogs

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?


Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

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