When you think of spies and secret agents, you probably wouldn’t think of mathematics. Some of the most famous code breakers in history have been mathematicians.
In a league of 5 football teams which play in a round robin
tournament show that it is possible for all five teams to be league
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
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
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
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.
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?
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?
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.
Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime
numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will
not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the
quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
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
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
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?
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 eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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.
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?
Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?
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
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?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock
face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions
differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
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.
Using only the red and white rods, how many different ways are
there to make up the other colours of rod?
Can all but one square of an 8 by 8 Chessboard be covered by
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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 pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
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?
Sam displays cans in 3 triangular stacks. With the same number he
could make one large triangular stack or stack them all in a square
based pyramid. How many cans are there how were they arranged?
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
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?
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
Here is a collection of puzzles about Sam's shop sent in by club
members. Perhaps you can make up more puzzles, find formulas or
find general methods.
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?
A game that demands a logical approach using systematic working to deduce a winning strategy
The machine I use to produce Braille messages is faulty and one of the pins that makes a raised dot is not working. I typed a short message in Braille. Can you work out what it really says?