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.
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
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?
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?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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?
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
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
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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. . . .
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?
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?
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?
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 greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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.
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 challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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?
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of
the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other
shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
Here are more buildings to picture in your mind's eye. Watch out -
they become quite complicated!
Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the
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?
Try to picture these buildings of cubes in your head. Can you make
them to check whether you had imagined them correctly?
Take it in turns to place a domino on the grid. One to be placed horizontally and the other vertically. Can you make it impossible for your opponent to play?
How can you paint the faces of these eight cubes so they can be put
together to make a 2 x 2 cube that is green all over AND a 2 x 2
cube that is yellow all over?
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?
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?
A variant on the game Alquerque
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular
intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10