An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number.
Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this
process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
The picture shows a lighthouse and many underwater creatures. If
you know the markings on the lighthouse are 1m apart, can you work
out the distances between some of the different creatures?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
Can you explain how this card trick works?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below 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 two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
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.
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?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock
face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions
differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
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?
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six
distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with
digits so that the arithmetic is correct.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once.
Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
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!
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
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?
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?
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
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
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.