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.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
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?
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.
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.
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 focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit 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.
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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 sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
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. . . .
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
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.
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?
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?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Take a look at the video of this trick. Can you perform it yourself? Why is this maths and not magic?
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?
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
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 a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
Surprise your friends with this magic square trick.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
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?