In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different combinations of these can you find?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
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.
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
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. . . .
Are these domino games fair? Can you explain why or why not?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
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.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
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.
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the rule for giving another set of six numbers?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
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?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
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.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
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?
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
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.
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
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 how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
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!
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
When I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house numbers.
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice about the answers?
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
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?
This article for primary teachers encourages exploration of two fundamental ideas, exchange and 'unitising', which will help children become more fluent when calculating.
Throughout these challenges, the touching faces of any adjacent dice must have the same number. Can you find a way of making the total on the top come to each number from 11 to 18 inclusive?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?