The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .

I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?

I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.

In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?

Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?

Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?

Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .

Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily in that order. What is each person’s occupation?

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .

I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number. Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.

Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?

This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.

Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.

If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?