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.
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.
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?
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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.
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.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
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?
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.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.
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?
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this line?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?
Lorenzie was packing his bag for a school trip. He packed four shirts and three pairs of pants. "I will be able to have a different outfit each day", he said. How many days will Lorenzie be away?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Can you see who the gold medal winner is? What about the silver medal winner and the bronze medal winner?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the chance of winning?
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 if you have an ordered approach.
This activity focuses on rounding to the nearest 10.
This challenge is about finding the difference between numbers which have the same tens digit.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
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....?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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.