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?
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
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.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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!
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
Can you complete this jigsaw of the multiplication square?
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?
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
Grandma found her pie balanced on the scale with two weights and a
quarter of a pie. So how heavy was each pie?
What is the largest number you can make using the three digits 2, 3
and 4 in any way you like, using any operations you like? You can
only use each digit once.
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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.
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?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Chandrika was practising a long distance run. Can you work out how
long the race was from the information?
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?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
After training hard, these two children have improved their
results. Can you work out the length or height of their 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?
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.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
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?
This problem is designed to help children to learn, and to use, the two and three times tables.
Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
Resources to support understanding of multiplication and division through playing with number.
In November, Liz was interviewed for an article on a parents' website about learning times tables. Read the article here.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
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?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?