Suggestions for teachers about exploring maths in different
contexts: art, history and so on
Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no
mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there
more than one way to do it?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
Three beads are threaded on a circular wire and are coloured either red or blue. Can you find all four different combinations?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more
and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?
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?
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?
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?
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?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Terry and Ali are playing a game with three balls. Is it fair that
Terry wins when the middle ball is red?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
Find out how we can describe the "symmetries" of this triangle and
investigate some combinations of rotating and flipping it.
In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make the same total?
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
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.
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.
Investigate the different sounds you can make by putting the owls
and donkeys on the wheel.
Have a go at this game which involves throwing two dice and adding
their totals. Where should you place your counters to be more
likely to win?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
One face of a regular tetrahedron is painted blue and each of the
remaining faces are painted using one of the colours red, green or
yellow. How many different possibilities are there?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He
can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you
find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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
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.
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Semaphore is a way to signal the alphabet using two flags. You
might want to send a message that contains more than just letters.
How many other symbols could you send using this code?
Can you fill in the empty boxes in the grid with the right shape
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
Four children were sharing a set of twenty-four butterfly cards.
Are there any cards they all want? Are there any that none of them
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?
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?
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