Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?

NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in the run-up to Christmas.

These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?

Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every day in the run-up to Christmas.

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 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 these clocks?

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 this brazier for roasting chestnuts?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?

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 child walking home from school?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?

How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?

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?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Mai Ling?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?

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 outlines of the candle and sundial?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?

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 it up?

What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain why are they called pyramid numbers?

Can you deduce the pattern that has been used to lay out these bottle tops?

This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?

In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.

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?

A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?

If these balls are put on a line with each ball touching the one in front and the one behind, which arrangement makes the shortest line of balls?

This practical problem challenges you to make quadrilaterals with a loop of string. You'll need some friends to help!

Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and making spirals.

Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what you see? Why not try and make one yourself?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?

Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and play.

Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?

Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?

Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.

Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.

Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or ruling lines.

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?

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?

What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping three squares?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this sports car?

Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.