This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different combinations of these can you find?

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?

Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.

Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite NRICH investigations.

How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.

Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?

Here is your chance to investigate the number 28 using shapes, cubes ... in fact anything at all.

What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?

48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?

The red ring is inside the blue ring in this picture. Can you rearrange the rings in different ways? Perhaps you can overlap them or put one outside another?

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in one shop, where would be the cheapest?

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?

I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?

In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?

An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.

We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?

What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.

Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?

In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?

Roll two red dice and a green dice. Add the two numbers on the red dice and take away the number on the green. What are all the different possibilities that could come up?

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?

Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other totals can you make?

This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?

We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?

Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?

Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?

The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?