Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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.
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
Can you explain how this card trick works?
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?
A game for 2 players with similarities 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.
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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.
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?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take 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.
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?
Take a look at the video of this trick. Can you perform it yourself? Why is this maths and not magic?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation. How far does the dot travel?
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
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?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!