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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?
Choose a symbol to put into the number sentence.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
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?
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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 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!
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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.
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?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Take the number 6 469 693 230 and divide it by the first ten prime
numbers and you'll find the most beautiful, most magic of all
numbers. What is it?
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?
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?
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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,. . . .
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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!
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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
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?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
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?
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?
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?
Using the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 once and only once, and the
operations x and ÷ once and only once, what is the smallest
whole number you can make?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Can you complete this jigsaw of the multiplication square?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
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?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the
labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
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.
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
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 smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a
product consisting entirely of ones.
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers
on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the
number line first?
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 see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?