Suggestions for teachers about exploring maths in different contexts: art, history and so on

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

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.

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

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 blocks.

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 make?

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?

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 ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?

How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?

Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

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?

How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?

How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the wheel?

This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.

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?

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?

Three beads are threaded on a circular wire and are coloured either red or blue. Can you find all four different combinations?

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?

How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?

Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds. What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you are given?

Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.

In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many different ways can they build their houses?

Investigate the different sounds you can make by putting the owls and donkeys on the wheel.

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?

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?

My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?

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?

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?

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.

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?

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.

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?

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 given totals?

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?

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.

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.

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 route again?

Terry and Ali are playing a game with three balls. Is it fair that Terry wins when the middle ball is red?

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?

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 and colour?