On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock over a whole day?
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the real time) they arrived at the airport.
My cousin was 24 years old on Friday April 5th in 1974. On what day of the week was she born?
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.
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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.
Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the information to find out how long each road is on the route she took.
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.
The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?
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.
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?
During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
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?
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?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
How long does it take to brush your teeth? Can you find the matching length of time?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
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.
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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?
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
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!
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?
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.