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.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Have a go at this game which has been inspired by the Big Internet Math-Off 2019. Can you gain more columns of lily pads than your opponent?
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.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
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.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
I added together some of my neighbours house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Add or subtract the two numbers on the spinners and try to complete a row of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more than one weight on a hook.
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?
Use the clues to colour each square.
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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....?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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.
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
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.
If you hang two weights on one side of this balance, in how many different ways can you hang three weights on the other side for it to be balanced?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?