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Festive Fivesome

Use the clues to answer the seasonal questions
about the five festive figures

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Santa's Helpers

In Santa's big workshop, five helpers reside.
Their ages a secret, they cleverly hide.
Older than snowmen and tall Christmas trees,
They live in a climate where many would freeze.
Work out their ages by the colours they choose,
But don't be confused, because there are clues!

All of the helpers can hardly remember their 100th birthdays.
None of the helpers have yet reached their 200th birthdays.
Rudy Rosycheeks' age is the square of the number of months in a year.
How old is Rudy?

Olav Oranbells is not as old as Rudy but his age is a cube not a square!
How old is Olav if his age is the cube of the number of helpers seen above?

Bluey Bauble's age is the product of three consecutive numbers that sum to 15.
How old is Bluey?

Guy Greenstocking is older than Bluey by the same number of years as he is younger than Rudy.
How old is Guy?

The sum of all five helpers' ages is 701.
How old is Percy Plumfrost?

What is the difference between Guy and Olav's ages?

Two consecutive numbers multiply together to give Guy's age.
What is the sum of those two numbers?

Christmas Day is on the 25th December every year.
What is Olav's age divided by the square root of 25?

Two of the helpers' ages add up to 300.
What is the difference between those ages?

What is the average (mean) age of all five helpers?


This is Festive Fivesome level 3. You can also try:
Level 1 Level 2


Try your best to answer the questions above. Type your answers into the boxes provided leaving no spaces. As you work through the exercise regularly click the "check" button. If you have any wrong answers, do your best to do corrections but if there is anything you don't understand, please ask your teacher for help.

When you have got all of the questions correct you may want to print out this page and paste it into your exercise book. If you keep your work in an ePortfolio you could take a screen shot of your answers and paste that into your Maths file.

Why am I learning this?

Mathematicians are not the people who find Maths easy; they are the people who enjoy how mystifying, puzzling and hard it is. Are you a mathematician?

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"Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you."

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"This is an excellent website. We all often use the starters as the pupils come in the door and get settled as we take the register."

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Featured Activity

Car Park Puzzle

Car Park Puzzle

Can you get your car out of the very crowded car park by moving other cars forwards or backwards? There are five levels of increasing difficulty and the interactive interface makes this a fun problem solving exercise.


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Go Maths

Learning and understanding Mathematics, at every level, requires learner engagement. Mathematics is not a spectator sport. Sometimes traditional teaching fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of interactive activities and this web site provides many of those. The Go Maths page is an alphabetical list of free activities designed for students in Secondary/High school.

Maths Map

Are you looking for something specific? An exercise to supplement the topic you are studying at school at the moment perhaps. Navigate using our Maths Map to find exercises, puzzles and Maths lesson starters grouped by topic.


If you found this activity useful don't forget to record it in your scheme of work or learning management system. The short URL, ready to be copied and pasted, is as follows:

Alternatively, if you use Google Classroom, all you have to do is click on the green icon below in order to add this activity to one of your classes.

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When planning to use technology in your lesson always have a plan B!

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Description of Levels


Level 1 - Questions about the cost of five Christmas presents

Level 2 - Questions about the burning times of five candles.

Level 3 - Questions about the ages of Santa's helpers.

More Christmas Activities including lesson Starters, visual aids, investigations and self-marking exercises.

Answers to this exercise are available lower down this page when you are logged in to your Transum account. If you don’t yet have a Transum subscription one can be very quickly set up if you are a teacher, tutor or parent.

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Xmas Consonants

Xmas Consonants

After working out which vowels are missing from the Christmas words do some basic calculations.

The short web address is:


Twelve Days

Twelve Days

How many gifts did my true love send to me according to the traditional Christmas song 'Twelve Days of Christmas'.

The short web address is:


Systematic Snowflakes

Systematic Snowflakes

Drag the flakes into the cells. There should be no more than one copy of each flake in a line.

The short web address is:


The 12 Ways of Christmas

The 12 Ways of Christmas

How many different ways can you make the number 12 using the digits 1 to 4?

The short web address is:


Maths Word Problem Solving Guide

1. Read Carefully: Before you start solving, read the entire problem. Understand what is being asked and what information is provided.

2. Identify the Unknowns: Determine what you need to find out. It's helpful to represent unknown quantities with variables, like x or y.

3. Break Down the Problem: Some problems have multiple parts. It's essential to solve each part step by step. Sometimes, solving one part can help you solve the next.

4. Write Down the Information: List down the facts you know from the problem. This can include prices, quantities, ratios, or any other given data.

5. Formulate Equations: Based on the information provided, try to form mathematical equations. Remember, the same word can mean different mathematical operations:

- "More than" usually means addition.

- "Less than" usually means subtraction.

- "Times" or "of" often means multiplication.

- "Divided by" means division.

6. Solve the Equations: Once you have your equations set up, solve for the unknowns. Sometimes, you might need to solve multiple equations simultaneously.

7. Check Your Work: After finding a solution, read the problem again to ensure your answer makes sense in the context of the question. It's always a good idea to plug your solution back into the problem to see if it works.

8. Practise: The more problems you solve, the better you'll become at identifying patterns and strategies for different types of questions.

9. Stay Calm: If you find a problem challenging, take a deep breath and approach it calmly. Sometimes, taking a short break and coming back to the problem can provide a fresh perspective.

10. Ask for Help: If you're stuck, don't hesitate to ask a teacher, classmate, or parent for guidance. Sometimes, discussing the problem out loud can help you see it in a new light.

Remember, word problems are like puzzles. With practise and the right strategies, you can become a master problem solver!

Answers to this exercise are available lower down this page when you are logged in to your Transum account. If you don’t yet have a Transum subscription one can be very quickly set up if you are a teacher, tutor or parent.

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