Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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!
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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!
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of
words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when
you count the letters in each word?
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?
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?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths.
Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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.
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
This challenge is about finding the difference between numbers which have the same tens digit.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3
cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue
cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Can you make a cycle of pairs that add to make a square number
using all the numbers in the box below, once and once only?
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
Use the interactivities to fill in these Carroll diagrams. How do you know where to place the numbers?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which
labels would you put on each row and column?
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not
using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in
whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
Choose a symbol to put into the number sentence.