What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
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?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up with the same arrangement?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
What is the least number of moves you can take to rearrange the bears so that no bear is next to a bear of the same colour?
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover an eight by eight chessboard?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or ruling lines.
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
An extension of noughts and crosses in which the grid is enlarged and the length of the winning line can to altered to 3, 4 or 5.