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?
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?
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?
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?
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 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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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.
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 arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
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.
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
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?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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?
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.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
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?
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.