48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
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?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the
result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different
numbers and different rules.
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?
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?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
There are over sixty different ways of making 24 by adding,
subtracting, multiplying and dividing all four numbers 4, 6, 6 and
8 (using each number only once). How many can you find?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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?
Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves
there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a
twig and a leaf.
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
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
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?
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!
Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?
Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number
system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a
look at the multiplications table.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three
puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
Woof is a big dog. Yap is a little dog.
Emma has 16 dog biscuits to give to the two dogs.
She gave Woof 4 more biscuits than Yap.
How many biscuits did each dog get?
Arrange the numbers 1 to 6 in each set of circles below. The sum of each side of the triangle should equal the number in its centre.
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
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?
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?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?