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?
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 task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
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?
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 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.
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!
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!
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
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.
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 could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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.
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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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?
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
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?
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
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?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
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?
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?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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.?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?