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?
Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How can her answer be the same as the total at the till?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
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?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?
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.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
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?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
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?
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of 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 challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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.
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
How many possible necklaces can you find? And how do you know you've found them all?