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?
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?
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?
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There
are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where
are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
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
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?
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?
Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five
square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a
rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle
pieces could there be?
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?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
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
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?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
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?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
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?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Find out how we can describe the "symmetries" of this triangle and
investigate some combinations of rotating and flipping it.
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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
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?
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks
and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they
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?
Three beads are threaded on a circular wire and are coloured either red or blue. Can you find all four different combinations?
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?
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence
to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8
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?
The Red Express Train usually has five red carriages. How many ways
can you find to add two blue carriages?
Take three differently coloured blocks - maybe red, yellow and blue. Make a tower using one of each colour. How many different towers can you make?
Lorenzie was packing his bag for a school trip. He packed four
shirts and three pairs of pants. "I will be able to have a
different outfit each day", he said. How many days will Lorenzie be
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
A toy has a regular tetrahedron, a cube and a base with triangular
and square hollows. If you fit a shape into the correct hollow a
bell rings. How many times does the bell ring in a complete game?
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?
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have
forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an
8. How many possible combinations are there to try?