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.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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 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?
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?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
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?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
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?
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?
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
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.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
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?
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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.
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?
This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one
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?
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 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?
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
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?
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.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?
Each clue in this Sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
In this Sudoku, there are three coloured "islands" in the 9x9 grid. Within each "island" EVERY group of nine cells that form a 3x3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?