The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
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
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!
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
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.
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one solution in each case?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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!
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Look at what happens when you take a number, square it and subtract your answer. What kind of number do you get? Can you prove it?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your
calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add,
subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3
digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits
you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of
plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in
each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
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?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
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?
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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?
All the girls would like a puzzle each for Christmas and all the
boys would like a book each. Solve the riddle to find out how many
puzzles and books Santa left.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
This challenge is a game for two players. Choose two numbers from the grid and multiply or divide, then mark your answer on the number line. Can you get four in a row before your partner?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
This big box multiplies anything that goes inside it by the same number. If you know the numbers that come out, what multiplication might be going on in the box?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Put a number at the top of the machine and collect a number at the
bottom. What do you get? Which numbers get back to themselves?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the multiplication sums to work out what they are?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they
usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many
altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
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.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?