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?
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.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
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.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
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.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
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?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
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?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
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?
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?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
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.
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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?
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?
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?
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 find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
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?
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?
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.