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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Throughout these challenges, the touching faces of any adjacent dice must have the same number. Can you find a way of making the total on the top come to each number from 11 to 18 inclusive?
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
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?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
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.
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 task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
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.
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!
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
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 jugs.
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit 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?
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?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?
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.
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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!
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?
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.
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?
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 happens?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house numbers.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
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.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other totals can you make?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework. After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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 given totals?