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.
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.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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.
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.
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
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
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?
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?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
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?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
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?
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.
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?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?