A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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. . . .
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you can predict what will happen.
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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.
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who are even older than he is... When was he born?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?