Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
If you had any number of ordinary dice, what are the possible ways
of making their totals 6? What would the product of the dice be
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be
put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways
that this can be done?
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals
of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the
Sam sets up displays of cat food in his shop in triangular stacks.
If Felix buys some, then how can Sam arrange the remaining cans in
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length
of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not
using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in
whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Arrange the numbers 1 to 6 in each set of circles below. The sum of each side of the triangle should equal the number in its centre.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three
puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
Try grouping the dominoes in the ways described. Are there any left
over each time? Can you explain why?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Suggestions for teachers about exploring maths in different
contexts: art, history and so on
A little mouse called Delia lives in a hole in the bottom of a
tree.....How many days will it be before Delia has to take the same
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
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
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all