This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
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.
Number problems for lower primary that will get you thinking.
Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five equilateral triangles edge to edge.
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the rules.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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 this calculation, the box represents a missing digit. What could the digit be? What would the solution be in each case?
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....?
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?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this line?
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?
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?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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 make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?
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?
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
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.
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.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Can you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had?
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?
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.