While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?

What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?

If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each time?

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?

How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?

What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you try the other shapes?

Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite NRICH investigations.

Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why not?

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the path it's already made.

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?

Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?

Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the number 2000.

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?

This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?

In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice about the answers?

This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?

A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.

In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?

Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?

Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.

Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.

Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?

What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?