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.
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
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?
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
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?
This is an adding game for two players.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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.
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
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.
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
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?
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?
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 digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the
labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
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.
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.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
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?
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!
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?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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!
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.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.