Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.

Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.

Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?

Explore the effect of combining enlargements.

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 red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .

Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

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?

Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?

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.

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.

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

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?

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?

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.

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?

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?

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one 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.

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

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. . . .

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.

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.

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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.

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

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

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 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's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...