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

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

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?

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

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 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?

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

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?

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. . . .

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

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

15 = 7 + 8 and 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers?

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

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.

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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?

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

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

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.

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?

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

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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