Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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!
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
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!
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days
as possible, how many days can their fun last?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and
Bharat live in.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
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?
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?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
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?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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.
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that
they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can
you investigate all the different possibilities?
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?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged
the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same
total. What was the total and how could this be done?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the
clues to work out were each person is sitting.
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five
equilateral triangles edge to edge.