Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
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?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
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.
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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.
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
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?
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
Surprise your friends with this magic square trick.
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
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?
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?”
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
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.
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?