I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square hole for each disc. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
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 different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you can predict what will happen.
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can you find in the numbers in this box?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?
Nine squares with side lengths 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 18 cm can be fitted together to form a rectangle. What are the dimensions of the rectangle?
56 406 is the product of two consecutive numbers. What are these two numbers?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
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?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Complete the magic square using the numbers 1 to 25 once each. Each row, column and diagonal adds up to 65.
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
Four of these clues are needed to find the chosen number on this grid and four are true but do nothing to help in finding the number. Can you sort out the clues and find the number?
Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
Starting with the number 180, take away 9 again and again, joining up the dots as you go. Watch out - don't join all the dots!
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
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?
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
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?"
How can you use just one weighing to find out which box contains the lighter ten coins out of the ten boxes?
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.
This article for teachers describes how number arrays can be a useful reprentation for many number concepts.
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order to balance this equaliser?