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

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

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

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. . . .

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.

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

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. . . .

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.

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

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.

A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.

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.

Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?

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?

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

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. . . .

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

Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.

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

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

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.

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

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

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

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

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

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?

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

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.

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

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

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

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?

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 loser is the player who takes the last counter.

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?

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

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?

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 opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

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

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.

Explore the effect of combining enlargements.

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.