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.
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?
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....?
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
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?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
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?
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.
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?
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?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
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.
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?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
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!
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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!
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
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?
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
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?
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.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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?