Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter
represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once
it must represent the same digit each time.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
What is the largest number you can make using the three digits 2, 3
and 4 in any way you like, using any operations you like? You can
only use each digit once.
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and
diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American
Flag magic square.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit
numbers such that their total is close to 1500?
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?
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.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
The sum of the first 'n' natural numbers is a 3 digit number in which all the digits are the same. How many numbers have been summed?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?
There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres.
Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have 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
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers
on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the
number line first?
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?
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.
Amy has a box containing domino pieces but she does not think it is a complete set. She has 24 dominoes in her box and there are 125 spots on them altogether. Which of her domino pieces are missing?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
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?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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?
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?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
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!
This is an adding game for two players.
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?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the
four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
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!
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
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?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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.
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
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.