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

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?

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?

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

Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?

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. . . .

Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?

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.

The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

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. . . .

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?

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?

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.

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. . . .

This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .

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?

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

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

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

Gabriel multiplied together some numbers and then erased them. Can you figure out where each number was?

We have exactly 100 coins. There are five different values of coins. We have decided to buy a piece of computer software for 39.75. We have the correct money, not a penny more, not a penny less! Can. . . .

Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

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

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. . . .

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. . . .

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

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?

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

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. . . .

Take any pair of two digit numbers x=ab and y=cd where, without loss of generality, ab > cd . Form two 4 digit numbers r=abcd and s=cdab and calculate: {r^2 - s^2} /{x^2 - y^2}.

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

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

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.

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

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

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

Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page...

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

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. . . .

From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .

The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .

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?

If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.

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?

This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.