This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
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?
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
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.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
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?
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.
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.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?
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?
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.
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!
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock over a whole day?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.