This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
A game for 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
Seeing Squares game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remove them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the butterfly?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the house?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telephone?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the sports car?
A game for 1 person. Can you work out how the dice must be rolled from the start position to the finish? Play on line.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Mah Ling?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this teacup?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall and work out a way they might fit together?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the convex shapes?
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of activities required to develop this thinking.
An extension of noughts and crosses in which the grid is enlarged and the length of the winning line can to altered to 3, 4 or 5.
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the telescope and microscope?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the candle?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the camel and giraffe?
Read about the adventures of Granma T and her grandchildren in this series of stories, accompanied by interactive tangrams.
Explore our selection of interactive tangrams. Can you use the tangram pieces to re-create each picture?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the dragon?
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.