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

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

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?

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?

Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?

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 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?

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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?

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?

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

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?

If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?

If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?

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.

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?

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 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?

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?

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?

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?

Can you fill in the empty boxes in the grid with the right shape and colour?

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?

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

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

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?

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

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?

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?

Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.

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?

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.

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?

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

Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?

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

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?

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

You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?

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?

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?

Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can 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?

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 each time?