Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
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.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create
your own repeating pattern?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
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?
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?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
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?
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 triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
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?
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.
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
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
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?
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.
Move four sticks so there are exactly four triangles.
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?
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 outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
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 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 the telescope and microscope?
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?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will
happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
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 these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns
with two different types of triangle. You could even try
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other
Can you split each of the shapes below in half so that the two
parts are exactly the same?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?