Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice? How could you sort the cards?
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what happens?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as possible?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house numbers.
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person had.
On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?
Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact ages from the clues?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?
There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres. Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's finishing position was.
On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how many lemons there are?
Are these domino games fair? Can you explain why or why not?
Tell your friends that you have a strange calculator that turns numbers backwards. What secret number do you have to enter to make 141 414 turn around?
Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a twig and a leaf.
Annie cut this numbered cake into 3 pieces with 3 cuts so that the numbers on each piece added to the same total. Where were the cuts and what fraction of the whole cake was each piece?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other totals can you make?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each pile.
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
The Scot, John Napier, invented these strips about 400 years ago to help calculate multiplication and division. Can you work out how to use Napier's bones to find the answer to these multiplications?
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
Try out some calculations. Are you surprised by the results?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Put a number at the top of the machine and collect a number at the bottom. What do you get? Which numbers get back to themselves?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the given totals?
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
How many starfish could there be on the beach, and how many children, if I can see 28 arms?
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?
The picture shows a lighthouse and many underwater creatures. If you know the markings on the lighthouse are 1m apart, can you work out the distances between some of the different creatures?
Can you find different ways of creating paths using these paving slabs?
This activity is best done with a whole class or in a large group. Can you match the cards? What happens when you add pairs of the numbers together?
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?