Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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 many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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 many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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.
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 order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
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.
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.
Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and making spirals.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Can you predict when you'll be clapping and when you'll be clicking if you start this rhythm? How about when a friend begins a new rhythm at the same time?
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?
Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...
What shape is made when you fold using this crease pattern? Can you make a ring design?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
Make a flower design using the same shape made out of different sizes of paper.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
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 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 outlines of these people?
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 outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
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 together? Why?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
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 candle and sundial?