Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
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?
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.
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?
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!
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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.
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?
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?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?
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?
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?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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.
Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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.
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
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.
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
How many possible necklaces can you find? And how do you know you've found them all?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.