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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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First Connect Three for Two

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.

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Twinkle Twinkle

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.

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Birthday Cake Candles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.

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Matching Time

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.

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How Long Does it Take?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.

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Maths Trails

Age 7 to 14

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.

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Games Related to Nim

Age 5 to 16

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.

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Counters

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remove them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?

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Sitting Round the Party Tables

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.

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Counting Cards

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?

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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.

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Mrs Beeswax

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?

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Window Frames

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.

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Diagonal Sums Sudoku

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.

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Fault-free Rectangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.

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Jumping Squares

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.

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Teddy Town

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?

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First Connect Three

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

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1 to 8

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.

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Plate Spotting

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?

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Ancient Runes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?

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Factor Lines

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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Multiples Grid

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?

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Triangle Edges

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?

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Cuisenaire Counting

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?

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Nineteen Hexagons

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What are the possible paths you could take?

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More on Mazes

Age 7 to 14

There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.

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Three Ball Line Up

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.

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Arrangements

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?

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Finding Fifteen

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?

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Here to There 1 2 3

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?

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Polo Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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One of Thirty-six

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?

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Lots of Lollies

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?

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Family Tree

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.

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Calendar Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

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Pasta Timing

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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Fake Gold

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?

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6 Beads

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

If you put three beads onto a tens/ones abacus you could make the numbers 3, 30, 12 or 21. What numbers can be made with six beads?

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Ice Cream

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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.

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Room Doubling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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One to Fifteen

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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!

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Consecutive Numbers

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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2,4,6,8

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?

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Whose Face?

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

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Rabbits in the Pen

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

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Seven Flipped

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.

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Same Length Trains

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?