Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?

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.

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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. . . .

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

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?

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. . . .

Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

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?

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?

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.

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.

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.

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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.

This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.

Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

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.

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.

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.

Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

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.

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

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?”

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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.

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?

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

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?

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?