Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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.
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
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.
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 task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
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. . . .
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
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.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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
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?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
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?
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 � 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so. . . .
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.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
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.
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.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
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?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Dave Hewitt suggests that there might be more to mathematics than looking at numerical results, finding patterns and generalising.