Posted in Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year – the 12 zodiac animals problem

the race

There are many versions of the story about the order of animals in the Chinese zodiac. They all involve a race with the order of the zodiac animals being chosen according to the order in which the animals finished the race.

This is a problem solving activity for groups of 3 or 4 children, or it can be used as a class/group activity with younger children to encourage discussion, reasoning, logical thinking and use of mathematical language.

The 14 clue cards have all the information needed to solve the problem. Cut out the cards and share them between the children in the group.

Ask children to:

  • read the cards;
  • find the card that tells them what to do (Find the order of the animals)
  • organise the cards – which ones are most useful to start? which have redundant information?

Work through the information. Use the numeral cards and picture cards to help. If using this as a class actvity, use the animal masks from and  children can move around in response to the clues to find the right order.

Encourage children to check their solution by reading through the clues again.

Posted in Chinese New Year

2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog

Digit Dog is excited that this year is the Year of the Dog. He is getting ready to celebrate the Spring Festival which begins on February 16th and ends on March 2nd.

He has given Calculating Cat a lucky red envelope with some coins in it. See if you can work out how much money could be in the envelope.

red envelope

Extend the challenge with ideas in the latest challenge card – click here or download from