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?
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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!
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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.
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
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.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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.
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.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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.
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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.
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?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
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?
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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?
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
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.
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?
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 coach your rowing eight to win?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?