In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Susie took cherries out of a bowl by following a certain pattern.
How many cherries had there been in the bowl to start with if she
was left with 14 single ones?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
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.
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?
Tell your friends that you have a strange calculator that turns
numbers backwards. What secret number do you have to enter to make
141 414 turn around?
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?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
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?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
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.
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?
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
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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.
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?
Max and Mandy put their number lines together to make a graph. How
far had each of them moved along and up from 0 to get the counter
to the place marked?
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.
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
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?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
Find out why these matrices are magic. Can you work out how they were made? Can you make your own Magic Matrix?
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?
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?
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?
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
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length
of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
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?
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.