How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's and Katie's, using rods that are identical?
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....?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
How many different rectangles can you make using this set of rods?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a yellow rod using white and red rods?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this line?
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What are the possible paths you could take?
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?
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.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
Lorenzie was packing his bag for a school trip. He packed four shirts and three pairs of pants. "I will be able to have a different outfit each day", he said. How many days will Lorenzie be away?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Number problems for lower primary that will get you thinking.
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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square hole for each. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box.
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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.
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?
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Can you arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 to make a Number Sandwich?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
The brown frog and green frog want to swap places without getting wet. They can hop onto a lily pad next to them, or hop over each other. How could they do it?