Fun with problems! - image  on

Many of our primary aged students have enrolled in problem solving classes after school each week.   The children certainly don t seem to mind staying late at school, even on a Friday,  because the problems are fun to solve, yet still challenge  the children to think and use different methods to come up with answers.   

For example, they ‘ve designed the best possible zoo (where all the animals can get to the lake, but not all of them need to access the savannah, for example) and another, set out below, challenged the children to find the most efficient way for a farmer to transport some troublesome produce… 

Problem: a farmer has to row across a river to deliver a chicken, a sack of wheat and a fox to the other side.  The fox and the chicken can t travel or be left together, because the fox will eat the chicken.  The chicken and the wheat can t travel or be left together, because the chicken will eat the wheat.  There is only room in the rowboat for the farmer to row two items across at once.  How can the farmer use the boat to transport the wheat, the fox and the chicken safely across?   (Answers involving stowing the chicken up a tree on the far side, or tying the fox into the empty wheat sack, while inventive, are not part of the actual answer!)