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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
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.
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.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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?
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?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
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?
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?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
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
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
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?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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?
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?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
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?
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
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.
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
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?
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 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.
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.
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
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.
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.
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?