How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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
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?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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.
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
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?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
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?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
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?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
What shapes can you make by folding an A4 piece of paper?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.
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?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Follow the diagrams to make this patchwork piece, based on an
octagon in a square.
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.
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what
you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns
with two different types of triangle. You could even try
Have a go at drawing these stars which use six points drawn around
a circle. Perhaps you can create your own designs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
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 outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
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 these clocks?
How do you know if your set of dominoes is complete?
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 outline of this telephone?
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?