Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
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 a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to
make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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 many models can you find which obey these rules?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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 make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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.
In this article for teachers, Bernard uses some problems to suggest
that once a numerical pattern has been spotted from a practical
starting point, going back to the practical can help explain. . . .
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
This practical activity involves measuring length/distance.
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
It's hard to make a snowflake with six perfect lines of symmetry,
but it's fun to try!
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Did you know mazes tell stories? Find out more about mazes and make
one of your own.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Follow these instructions to make a five-pointed snowflake from a
square of paper.
Make a mobius band and investigate its properties.
Have you noticed that triangles are used in manmade structures?
Perhaps there is a good reason for this? 'Test a Triangle' and see
how rigid triangles are.
Surprise your friends with this magic square trick.
Move your counters through this snake of cards and see how far you
can go. Are you surprised by where you end up?
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?
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Ideas for practical ways of representing data such as Venn and
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?
Follow the diagrams to make this patchwork piece, based on an
octagon in a square.
Follow these instructions to make a three-piece and/or seven-piece
This is a simple paper-folding activity that gives an intriguing result which you can then investigate further.
How can you make a curve from straight strips of paper?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Have a go at drawing these stars which use six points drawn around
a circle. Perhaps you can create your own designs?
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?