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
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 is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
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?
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.
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 this telephone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Can you recreate this Indian screen pattern? Can you make up
similar patterns of your own?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns
with two different types of triangle. You could even try
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?
Watch the video to see how to fold a square of paper to create a flower. What fraction of the piece of paper is the small triangle?
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 Little Ming playing the board game?
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 shape. How would you describe it?
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 Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
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 these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what
you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
This practical activity involves measuring length/distance.
Can you work out what shape is made by folding in this way? Why not create some patterns using this shape but in different sizes?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Make a flower design using the same shape made out of different sizes of paper.