How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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 task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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?
These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
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.
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.
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 continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.
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.
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?
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
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. . . .
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
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.
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?
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.