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?
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!
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
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?
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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
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?
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?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
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?
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?
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?
Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look
the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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.
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.
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the 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?
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?
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?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What
happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you
change the position of the jigsaws?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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.
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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.
Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number
system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a
look at the multiplications table.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
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.
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
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?
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?