Puzzles and Games

I do enjoy puzzles and the summer break offers time for more! A job for the holidays is checking and updating links to such resources. I have now incorporated a series of pages, Puzzles & Games on this blog, available from the top menu. All resources have been checked and there are many new additions in all categories. Further additions will be added over the next week or two.

To highlight just a few of this large collection, Algebra includes the lovely SolveMe mobiles puzzles.

Or for a rather different approach, try Shuttle Mission Workshop from Math Playground, here students build and solve their own visual math puzzles. Play Shuttle Mission Pro first to practise.

Nrich features on many pages including reading; Nrich has many excellent articles on the use of games in the classroom; hence a Reading page.

Math Playground – PEMDAS Exhibit

On Number, Math Playground, PEMDAS Exhibit provides great practice for order of operations. Touch an operation to form that part of the operation.

On Geometry of course follow Catriona Agg who regularly posts new puzzles and has made her collection of screenshots freely available.

Catriona Agg

Following each puzzle, you can find a discussion on the puzzle. Have a look at this puzzle and discussion for example.

In response to this puzzle, you can see various solutions including an Autograph file created by Rob Smith. Rob has this up to change both squares and you can move also move a point on the smaller square.

Another brilliant Geometry puzzle author is Ed Southall who has made 40 puzzles available to celebrate his 40th birthday; he has also provided slides for teachers. Check his Geometry Cheat Sheet.

A new category is Probability and Statistics games…

Guess the Correlation
Guess the Correlation – Omar Wagih

The collection includes from Cambridge PhD student, Omar Wagih ‘Guess the Correlation‘, a rather addictive game with a purpose – Omar Wagih is collecting the data on the guesses collected and using it to analyse how we perceive correlations in scatter plots. Select About to read the rules and further details.

Another new category – Underground Maths, the page includes several resources on puzzles and games from Underground Maths

Underground Maths – Equation Sudoku

From Underground Maths try Equation Sudoku for example.

We can write down equations:

f+g+a =19

m+k+c =16

and so on.

As always on Underground Maths we have suggestions and a complete solution as well as printable/supporting materials.


Erich’s Puzzle Palace – featured on Puzzles Page

Mathematical Miscellany #53

Three updates, a puzzle, and the mind-blowing Mathematics of sunflowers!

My post, Reading has proved very popular.

The student version has been updated with a STEM book list from Imperial College, the list has many recommendations in several categories including Mathematics. Imperial College says that the list is aimed at A Level students but is suitable for anyone looking to develop their STEM knowledge and have a great read.

The CGP Headstart to A level Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are all still free as is a GMAT Foundations of Math Practice book with 900+ problems.

The information on the Autograph web page has been updated and now includes an example file for reflection in y=mx+c and recordings of creating a page to illustrate reflection in a vertical line and creating a reflection in y=mx+c. These are early experiments with recordings, I’ll keep practising!

Published July 2021, we have an updated version of the document which provides details of the Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff. I have checked and updated my post Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers. We are fortunate in Mathematics to have so many good resources to help us here.

It is the holidays so time for a topical puzzle from OCR, I really like the #OCRmathsPuzzles, look out for them.

You can also see a post on this puzzle from Don Steward, and try three levels of the puzzle on Transum Mathematics.

Transum Mathematics

It’s summertime so I’ll finish with the mind-blowing Mathematics of sunflowers; read Citizen scientists count sunflower spirals from +plus magazine and check the Scientific American video.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com


A job for the summer break is always to think about the organisation of posts and pages of this blog.

The first project is a check on the reading series of pages; this series is devoted to various reading materials – many of which are free!

Looking at the Books (free) page, check that search on Mathematics books by price from lowest to highest on Amazon. If you search on all titles this gives all the free entries which seem to include lots of toddler books and samples. The most relevant results can be worth checking.

A post for students is on Mathematics for students; note this book currently free on Kindle:

GMAT Foundations of Math – 900+ Practice problems (see also GMAT Math Practice)

For puzzle fans perhaps try Henry Ernest Dudeney’s puzzle collection.

Mind Hurdles

Looking at the free offerings, these include Mind Hurdles: Mystery Number – a set of ‘number mysteries’, one or more of which would make a good lesson starter and Henry Ernest Dudeney’s – Amusements in Mathematics a puzzle collection (with solutions). The first set of puzzles will offer a trip down memory lane for those who remember money – pre-decimal! There are several categories of puzzles available.

And do make sure you have Colin Foster’s KS3 books in your collection.

Colin Foster - Instant Maths Ideas
Colin Foster – Instant Maths Ideas

Colin Foster’s KS3 Instant Maths Ideas (3 books) are now freely available online; these contain a wealth of ideas to try in the classroom. Colin Foster is a Reader in  Mathematics Education in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University.

Summer Maths

Reading the latest newsletter, I see that Nrich will be publishing a challenge a day throughout the UK summer break, every weekday from 19 July to 31 August, a new game or puzzle will appear on this Primary page and this Secondary page. Once students have tried the day’s challenge they will be able to compare their approach to previously published students’ solutions.

Also from Nrich remember there are many interactive games and puzzles.

Wayne Chadburn – Summer boost calendars

For calendars with a GCSE question a day from 19th July to 5th September have a look at Wayne Chadburn’s Summer boost resources, one for Higher and one for Foundation. He writes these calendars to provide regular, varied practice. In the next academic year he will produce calendars for year 11 students each month from September to April; the calendars for September 2021 are already available. Note the three versions including crossover questions, Foundation, Foundation plus and Higher.

Transum – Newspaper Type Puzzles

On Transum, a whole collection of school holiday Maths activities to do at home is available. To quote from Transum Mathematics:

Here are some suggestions for activities that will keep children thinking mathematically while having fun and learning new skills.

These are really clearly categorised and we have a lovely mixture of learning and puzzles and games to make you think. There is a great deal of choice here. See also the full list of all fun maths activities.

Try these brilliant GeoGebra puzzles from Daniel Mentrard, also his 64 geometric puzzles.

Puzzles – Daniel Mentrard

Perhaps try Tangram on Mathigon.
How many of the different shapes can you make?

rich also have a Tangram activity for students age 7 – 11 or for 5-14 years olds try Tangram Pictures.

Nrich Tangram Browser

End of term…

For those in school for another week, some end of term activities…

There are numerous suggestions on this page, End of term activities and have a look at these brilliant GeoGebra puzzles from Daniel Mentrard.

Puzzles – Daniel Mentrard

From Daniel Mentrard on GeoGebra, Puzzles.

And 64 geometric puzzles.