This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
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....?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Use the clues to colour each square.
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can
this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover
an eight by eight chessboard?
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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is
designed to meet. . . .
In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make the same total?
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.
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
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 trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
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?
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?
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 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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these