What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we
can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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.
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
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.
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?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
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?
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?
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?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
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.
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?
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
A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about
the relationship between them?
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?
This activity asks you to collect information about the birds you
see in the garden. Are there patterns in the data or do the birds
seem to visit randomly?
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different
ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
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?
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?
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!
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
Follow the directions for circling numbers in the matrix. Add all
the circled numbers together. Note your answer. Try again with a
different starting number. What do you notice?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
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?