These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
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?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
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 activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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
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?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
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?
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 can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain
why are they called pyramid numbers?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will
happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
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.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?