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.
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?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
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?
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?
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?
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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
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!
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.
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?
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
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.
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five equilateral triangles edge to edge.
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
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?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
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.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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 we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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!
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?