Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
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?
If you have ten counters numbered 1 to 10, how many can you put into pairs that add to 10? Which ones do you have to leave out? Why?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
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
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?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
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?
Use the interactivities to fill in these Carroll diagrams. How do you know where to place the numbers?
Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?
Can you hang weights in the right place to make the equaliser
On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs
exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how
many lemons there are?
Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?
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
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which labels would you put on each row and column?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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.
Annie cut this numbered cake into 3 pieces with 3 cuts so that the
numbers on each piece added to the same total. Where were the cuts
and what fraction of the whole cake was each piece?
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?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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!
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
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.
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to
find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's
finishing position was.
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make the same total?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
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?
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?
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?
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so
that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as
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?