Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Sort the houses in my street into different groups. Can you do it in any other ways?
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean
in the context of primary classrooms.
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
Use your mouse to move the red and green parts of this disc. Can
you make images which show the turnings described?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
In this article for teachers, Bernard gives an example of taking an
initial activity and getting questions going that lead to other
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
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?
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of
the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other
shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you
move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up
with the same arrangement?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we
asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds
so find out which we might have bought.
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?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
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?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
We think this 3x3 version of the game is often harder than the 5x5 version. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that might be?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame
without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you
try the other shapes?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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.
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns
with two different types of triangle. You could even try
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?
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?
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
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.