What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?
This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the rules.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
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?
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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!
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?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125. If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
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.
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?
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!
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
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?
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?