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.
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
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.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
In this calculation, the box represents a missing digit. What could the digit be? What would the solution be in each case?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more than one weight on a hook.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
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?
Add or subtract the two numbers on the spinners and try to complete a row of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Have a go at this game which has been inspired by the Big Internet Math-Off 2019. Can you gain more columns of lily pads than your opponent?
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's and Katie's, using rods that are identical?
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?
How many different rectangles can you make using this set of rods?
This challenge is about finding the difference between numbers which have the same tens digit.
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?
My dice has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?