Maths box: The Monkey Puzzle

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By Mercia Leenumeracy consultant at Worcestershire County Council

Create your own maths resource to develop problem-solving and observation skills

Monkey puzzle

An ability to solve puzzles and problems is an essential life skill. We are instinctively doing it all the time using skills of estimating and logical thinking – ‘Have I got time to have another five minutes in bed given all that I’ve got to do before going to school?’ The opportunities we provide for children to solve problems are best if they are either in real-life contexts – ‘Are there enough pieces of fruit here for everyone?’ or in imaginary ones they can relate to, like the problem in Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-72001-6).

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