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.
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.
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!
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?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
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.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?
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 ...?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
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.
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?
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?
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 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?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?
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?