Maths problem solving is a core part of the key stage 2 (KS2) maths curriculum. At the age, your child will be learning how to:

  • Solve problems about quantity using multiplication and division.
  • Solve problems by calculating percentages.
  • Use percentages for comparison.
  • Solve problems by comparing similar shapes.
  • Solve problems using fractions and multiples.

Maths Problem Solving Activities 

Some fun activities for your children to do to improve their maths problem solving skills are listed below.


Addition and Subtraction Problems 

Puzzling Sums and Differences

You can combine the digits from 1 to 9 and then add or subtract to arrive at an answer of 100. Below are just a few examples. Note that the digits are used in order and they can form a number such as 67 or 89.


123 + 4 – 5 + 67 – 89 = 100                12 + 3 – 4 + 5 + 67 + 8 + 9 = 100

123 – 45 – 67 + 89 = 100                    1 + 2 + 3 – 4 + 5 + 6 + 78 + 9 = 100


Count Back to Zero

Two or more can play this game. Start at any number, such as 20. The first player counts back by one, two or three. The next player continues from the last number mentioned and counts back by one, two or three. The winner is the person who counts to zero.


Try to Spend It!

Use catalogs and newspaper ads to “shop.” Select an item and round its price to the nearest pound. Try spending £1000. How many items did you buy? Keep track of the items bought and their costs.


Try spending £10,000; £100,000 or £1,000,000


Multiplication and Division Problems 

Wages and Salary

Use a wage of £4.75 per house to calculate a yearly salary for someone working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks.


Next find several ads in your newspaper’s Jobs Available section that advertise yearly salaries. Calculate a weekly (divide by 52) and a monthly (divide by 12) salary. Compare these wages and salaries to the salaries received by various entertainment figures in sports, TV and film.


Problem Solving Online Games 

Online games are very helpful for children to practice what they have learnt at school. Here are two maths problem solving games that children in KS2 may find helpful and enjoyable.


Bead Numbersmaths problems

This game gives your children a chance to practice their place value skills. The game will give your children a question such as make the smallest number possible out of the given beads.





Going Shoppingmaths problem

Shopping activities, which will get your brain working! You have to decide which items to buy for your money. This is a good game for your children as it shows them the value of money and what they can buy for their money.