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?
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?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
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....?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
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?
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.
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?
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover an eight by eight chessboard?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
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?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
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.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?