Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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?
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?
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 complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Use the numbers and symbols to make this number sentence correct. How many different ways can you find?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
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?
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?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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?
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?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
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.
George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more
and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?
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?
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
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.
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one
minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the
real time) they arrived at the airport.
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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!
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
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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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!
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?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?