These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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
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?
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?
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 smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
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.
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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?
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?
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
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.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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 Mai Ling?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
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 brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will
happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Have a look at what happens when you pull a reef knot and a granny
knot tight. Which do you think is best for securing things
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 telescope and microscope?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
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 lobster, yacht and cyclist?