Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to
make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create
your own repeating pattern?
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?
This problem focuses on Dienes' Logiblocs. What is the same and
what is different about these pairs of shapes? Can you describe the
shapes in the picture?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
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?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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?
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There
are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many
different ways can they build their houses?
This was a problem for our birthday website. Can you use four of these pieces to form a square? How about making a square with all five pieces?
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue.
She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
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?
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?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
The Man is much smaller than us. Can you use the picture of him
next to a mug to estimate his height and how much tea he drinks?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Explore the triangles that can be made with seven sticks of the
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 models can you find which obey these rules?
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.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
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.
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 recreate this Indian screen pattern? Can you make up
similar patterns of your own?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
You'll need a collection of cups for this activity.
If you'd like to know more about Primary Maths Masterclasses, this
is the package to read! Find out about current groups in your
region or how to set up your own.
Follow the diagrams to make this patchwork piece, based on an
octagon in a square.
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns
with two different types of triangle. You could even try
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what
you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
This practical activity involves measuring length/distance.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?