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

Investigate sequences given by $a_n = \frac{1+a_{n-1}}{a_{n-2}}$ for different choices of the first two terms. Make a conjecture about the behaviour of these sequences. Can you prove your conjecture?

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

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.

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

Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

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.

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

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

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

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. . . .

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

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?

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.

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

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

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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.

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

Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?

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

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

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

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

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?

Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation. How far does the dot travel?

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

Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.

These gnomons appear to have more than a passing connection with the Fibonacci sequence. This problem ask you to investigate some of these connections.

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. . . .