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.

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

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?

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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?

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

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.

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.

An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.

You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.

Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...

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.

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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.

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?

Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?

Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".

A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.

Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

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?

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?

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.

A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.

Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku

Each clue in this Sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.

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.

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?

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.

This is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find the digits and then solve the Sudoku.