Christmas Presents

Five presents were bought for Christmas

Present Present

The red and purple presents together cost £26,

The purple and blue presents together cost £17,

The blue and gold presents together cost £13,

The gold and green presents together cost £32,

The green and red presents together cost £38

What is the total cost of all five presents?

Present Present Present

A Christmas Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day


Topics: Starter | Algebra | Problem Solving | Xmas

You can find many more ChristMaths activities at:


  • Mark Murray,
  • Hi,
    I'm not a teacher. I'm a concerned parent and I'd like to go over a math problem with my kids every morning before school. I'd love to be able to see the solutions to this. Is that possible?

    [Transum: Mark, if you scroll down the page you will find the place where answers are available to Transum subscribers. There is also a link to subscribe. Happy Christmas.]
  • Josh,
  • This was challenging, but I like the seasonal ring to it.
  • Moi (internet Safety!!), USA
  • Good problem but it would be nice if it was in dollars not pounds (yes, I know-stupid americans just have to have their way. Sorry.)

    [Transum: Good idea Moi. The facility to change the currency has now been added. You can find the button lower down the page.]
  • Transum,
  • If you are not a Transum subscriber and cannot see the answer below you may like to hear that the solution to this problem is a lot easier to work out than you may think. Don't try elaborate methods of solving simultaneous equations trying to find the cost of each present individually. Instead think laterally about totals! I hope that's not a spoiler and that you still have fun puzzling out the answer to this festive teaser!

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This starter has scored a mean of 3.2 out of 5 based on 359 votes.

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Globe of Flags

This activity is suitable for students of mathematics all around the world. Use the button below to change the currency symbol used to make it more relevant to your students. You may wish to choose an unfamiliar currency to extend your students' experience.

Globe of Flags


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Texas Instruments Nspire Calculator

This handheld device and companion software are designed to generate opportunities for classroom exploration and to promote greater understanding of core concepts in the mathematics and science classroom. TI-Nspire technology has been developed through sound classroom research which shows that "linked multiple representation are crucial in development of conceptual understanding and it is feasible only through use of a technology such as TI-Nspire, which provides simultaneous, dynamically linked representations of graphs, equations, data, and verbal explanations, such that a change in one representation is immediately reflected in the others.

For the young people in your life it is a great investment. Bought as a gift for a special occasion but useful for many years to come as the young person turns into an A-level candidate then works their way through university. more...

Apple iPad Pro

The analytics show that more and more people are accessing Transum Mathematics via an iPad as it is so portable and responsive. The iPad has so many other uses in addition to solving Transum's puzzles and challenges and it would make an excellent gift for anyone.

The redesigned Retina display is as stunning to look at as it is to touch. It all comes with iOS, the world's most advanced mobile operating system. iPad Pro. Everything you want modern computing to be. more...

Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen.

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Online Maths Shop

Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers?
Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons?

Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Laptops In Lessons

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Student Activity



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