Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
This is a game for two players. Can you find out how to be the first to get to 12 o'clock?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
If there are 3 squares in the ring, can you place three different numbers in them so that their differences are odd? Try with different numbers of squares around the ring. What do you notice?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.