Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add, subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
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.
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
This Sudoku requires you to do some working backwards before working forwards.
I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
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?
Choose a symbol to put into the number sentence.
Choose two digits and arrange them to make two double-digit numbers. Now add your double-digit numbers. Now add your single digit numbers. Divide your double-digit answer by your single-digit answer. . . .
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?
There are exactly 3 ways to add 4 odd numbers to get 10. Find all the ways of adding 8 odd numbers to get 20. To be sure of getting all the solutions you will need to be systematic. What about. . . .
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.
Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.
A number game requiring a strategy.
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
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?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of three children. Use the information to find out what the three numbers were.
You have four jugs of 9, 7, 4 and 2 litres capacity. The 9 litre jug is full of wine, the others are empty. Can you divide the wine into three equal quantities?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit the target score.
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.
Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit numbers such that their total is close to 1500?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the triangle adds to the same total.
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!
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
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?
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Try out some calculations. Are you surprised by the results?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?