Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
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?
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 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?
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 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?
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?
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.
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create
your own repeating pattern?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
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.
Kaia is sure that her father has worn a particular tie twice a week
in at least five of the last ten weeks, but her father disagrees.
Who do you think is right?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
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?
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?
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?
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
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?
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you
work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall
and work out a way they might fit together?
This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different
triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?
Can you put these shapes in order of size? Start with the smallest.
What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain
why are they called pyramid numbers?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or