Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?
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 happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
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.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?
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.
Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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 could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Each clue in this Sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
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?
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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
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?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
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.