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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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 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?
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.
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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!
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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
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?
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
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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?
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.
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
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.
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16
pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these
pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
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?
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we
can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
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.
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?
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 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?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
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 many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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?
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?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
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 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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why