How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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.
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?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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 describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
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.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
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.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
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
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
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?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
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?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
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.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
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 collection of games on the NIM theme
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
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?