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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Can you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an 8. How many possible combinations are there to try?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
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?
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?
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?
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.
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
How many possible necklaces can you find? And how do you know you've found them all?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125. If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.
My dice has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.