Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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?
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?
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.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
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 each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
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.
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
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?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
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?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
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?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
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.
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
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?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
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?
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?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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.