How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
A game for 2 players with similarities to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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.
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.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
15 = 7 + 8 and 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers?
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.
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?
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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.
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
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
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
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?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
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.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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.
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?
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
A collection of games on the NIM theme