In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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 find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
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.
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?
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?
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?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
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 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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
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.
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.
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.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
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.