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?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3
digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits
you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
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.
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred 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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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.
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of
adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain
why and prove it?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the
numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the
rule for giving another set of six numbers?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
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 two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they
usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many
altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
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. . . .
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
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?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?