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.
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.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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.
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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
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.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
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.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.
How many models can you find which obey these 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.
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an 8. How many possible combinations are there to try?
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?
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.
Roll two red dice and a green dice. Add the two numbers on the red dice and take away the number on the green. What are all the different possibilities that could come up?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle pieces could there be?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different combinations of these can you find?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this line?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
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.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there more than one way to do it?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
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?
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?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.