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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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!
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
My dice has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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.
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?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.
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?
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.
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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.
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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?
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.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.
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?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?
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?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
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?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?