Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
If you have ten counters numbered 1 to 10, how many can you put into pairs that add to 10? Which ones do you have to leave out? Why?
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?
A game in which players take it in turns to choose a number. Can you block your opponent?
This project challenges you to work out the number of cubes hidden
under a cloth. What questions would you like to ask?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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.
In this article for teachers, Bernard uses some problems to suggest
that once a numerical pattern has been spotted from a practical
starting point, going back to the practical can help explain. . . .
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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
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?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Ahmed is making rods using different numbers of cubes. Which rod is twice the length of his first rod?
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?
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?
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
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?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
Make a spiral mobile.
Exploring balance and centres of mass can be great fun. The
resulting structures can seem impossible. Here are some images to
encourage you to experiment with non-breakable objects of your own.
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.
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 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?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
You could use just coloured pencils and paper to create this
design, but it will be more eye-catching if you can get hold of
hammer, nails and string.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
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 greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
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?
It might seem impossible but it is possible. How can you cut a
playing card to make a hole big enough to walk through?
Ideas for practical ways of representing data such as Venn and
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
A game to make and play based on the number line.
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.
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 does the time of dawn and dusk vary? What about the Moon, how does that change from night to night? Is the Sun always the same? Gather data to help you explore these questions.
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?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.