Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
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?
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?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
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
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
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,. . . .
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.