Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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.
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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?
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 challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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.
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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.
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?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
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?
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.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
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?
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
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?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
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.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?