Maths Challenges in KS2

April 10, 2022

Students require adequate and regular practice in maths from a young age. It helps them build a culture and a solid foundation to carry into their advanced years. But getting children to concentrate when revising and practising maths can be challenging. This is where maths challenges come in. They are a fun and effective way of working through maths problems without making the child feel overwhelmed.

Here are some fantastic maths challenges for KS2 students that you can try out to get your child involved and fall in love with math.

Make 6p

Children love money. Whether earning or playing with it, money is always great motivation, and this maths challenge is all about money. In this challenge, you try to get the student to develop different ways to make 6p.

Start by drawing out a table with one row. The students can make 6p using three 2ps or six 1ps or other variations. This challenge helps the students recognise the value of money and, at the same time, work on their additions.

Three Numbers

Three numbers is a unique maths challenge that could go numerous different ways. The challenge emphasizes summation and helps students work on their basic division skills and logical thinking.

Depending on the student’s level, you can simplify the challenge or increase the difficulty to suit them.

Draw out three boxes and have a number say 24, that all the boxes should add up to. It’s now up to the student to decide what number each box should have to add up to 24. You can add other variations, like each box should have more than five items.

For this challenge, you can use everyday household items or even toys and have the student distribute them among the three boxes.

Spot the difference

Students who have problems with differences or subtractions can benefit from the Spot the Difference maths challenge. This challenge helps students work on their deduction skills. Like the other maths challenges before it, this one is also highly adaptable, and you can adjust it to suit the student’s needs.

You can use this challenge to help students understand single-digit deductions and build on it towards working on more complicated double and triple-digit problems. One of the benefits of this challenge is how you can play around with colour and creativity to keep the student engaged longer.

Three consecutive numbers

Three consecutive numbers is a simple challenge that works on number recognition and can also help with addition. You can lay out different sets of three numbers in different orders and ask the student to identify those that appear in consecutive order.

You can switch up the difficulty by throwing in a few options with more than three numbers to see how the students adapt. You can decide to do this challenge on paper or use numbered blocks to make it more interactive and engaging for the student.


Sudoku is a famous maths game. It presents the perfect challenge for your children and you can vary it. The student has to run various additional and subtraction challenges with sudoku to determine the missing numbers. You can start with the simplest 4×4 sudoku worksheets for younger students and then work your way to the more complex 6×6 tables.

The beauty of sudoku is that there are numerous sudoku apps online. You can download them and let the student have a crack at the game whenever they are free. It is one of the more engaging maths challenges that the student can easily pick up on.

Math problem cards

The goal behind maths problem cards is to present students with easy maths problems and see how fast they can work them out. The problems can vary depending on the level of the student and their understanding. Maths problems cards also make an excellent teaching resource because of the creativity of the cards, colour and how the problems are presented. You can choose the cards depending on the problems you want to focus on or go for mixed cards, which will have many problems set out. You have to pick at random and let the students work through what is presented to them.

Closing Remarks

Maths challenges are a great way to get students to put in extra maths work and see how well they can play around with numbers. With maths challenges for KS2, you can take the learning out of class to just about anywhere, making the sessions more interactive and beneficial to the student.