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.
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.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
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.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Florence, Ethan and Alma have each added together two 'next-door' numbers. What is the same about their answers?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
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?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
This problem challenges you to find out how many odd numbers there are between pairs of numbers. Can you find a pair of numbers that has four odds between them?
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?
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
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?
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.
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 is a game for two players. Can you find out how to be the first to get to 12 o'clock?
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?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
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.
This challenge is about finding the difference between numbers which have the same tens digit.
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up with the same arrangement?
In this calculation, the box represents a missing digit. What could the digit be? What would the solution be in each case?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
This activity focuses on rounding to the nearest 10.
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?
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?
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?