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

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. . . .

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

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.

First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

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

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?

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. . . .

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

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. . . .

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

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

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

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. . . .

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

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

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

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 � 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so. . . .

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.

Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

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.

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

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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?”

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

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.

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

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

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.

15 = 7 + 8 and 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers?

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?

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.

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?