Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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?
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?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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
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?
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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!
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
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?
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?
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
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?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
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!
Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range
in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact
ages from the clues?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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.
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
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.
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
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?
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. . . .
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
This is an adding game for two players.
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?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?