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?
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?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
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?
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.
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
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.
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
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
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
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?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
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?
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
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?
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?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
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?
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.
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
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.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
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?
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
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.
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
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?
Here is a picnic that Petros and Michael are going to share equally. Can you tell us what each of them will have?
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 fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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!
There are four equal weights on one side of the scale and an apple
on the other side. What can you say that is true about the apple
and the weights from the picture?