Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to
ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the
latest developments and questions.
This challenge combines addition, multiplication, perseverance and even proof.
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
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
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.
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?
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?
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?
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework.
After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do
this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
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.
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
Find another number that is one short of a square number and when
you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.
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
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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!
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three
dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
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 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
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?
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.
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
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?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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?
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.
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of
words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when
you count the letters in each word?
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!