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?
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.
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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a product consisting entirely of ones.
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
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?
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.
A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by saying, "Well, how old are they?"
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
Can you arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 to make a Number Sandwich?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?
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?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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.
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
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 ...?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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.
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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 lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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 different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
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?
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
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?
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.
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.