Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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?
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
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?
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?
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.
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what happens?
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the rule for giving another set of six numbers?
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.
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.
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
Surprise your friends with this magic square trick.
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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.
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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.
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?
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. . . .
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.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
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?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
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?”
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?