Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?

How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?

What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.

48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.

I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?

Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can you find in the numbers in this box?

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?

"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?

This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.

This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.

In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?

When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?

How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?

In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?

Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.

How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?

Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?

Investigate the different shaped bracelets you could make from 18 different spherical beads. How do they compare if you use 24 beads?

The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?

How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the latest developments and questions.

An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.

What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?

This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?

Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other totals can you make?

Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?

How many models can you find which obey these rules?