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
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
I start my journey in Rio de Janeiro and visit all the cities as Hamilton described, passing through Canberra before Madrid, and then returning to Rio. What route could I have taken?
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?
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape
of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get
from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
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?
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 league of 5 football teams which play in a round robin
tournament show that it is possible for all five teams to be league
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?
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?
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. . . .
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Is it possible to use all 28 dominoes arranging them in squares of
four? What patterns can you see in the solution(s)?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
How many tricolour flags are possible with 5 available colours such
that two adjacent stripes must NOT be the same colour. What about
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?
Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?
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?
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?
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
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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 many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime
numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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 to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
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.