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?
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?
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
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
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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 shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?
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
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 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?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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?
Can you fill in the empty boxes in the grid with the right shape
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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?
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?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
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.
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
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
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.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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
Terry and Ali are playing a game with three balls. Is it fair that
Terry wins when the middle ball is red?
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?
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
Suggestions for teachers about exploring maths in different
contexts: art, history and so on
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
Find out how we can describe the "symmetries" of this triangle and
investigate some combinations of rotating and flipping it.
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
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?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
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.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.