Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
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 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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
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?
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?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have 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.
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 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!
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
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 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 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!
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
This is an adding game for two players.
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the
numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the
rule for giving another set of six numbers?
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
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
This challenge is about finding the difference between numbers which have the same tens digit.
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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 task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals
of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
There are three baskets, a brown one, a red one and a pink one, holding a total of 10 eggs. Can you use the information given to find out how many eggs are in each basket?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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.
The Scot, John Napier, invented these strips about 400 years ago to
help calculate multiplication and division. Can you work out how to
use Napier's bones to find the answer to these multiplications?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?