Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no
mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there
more than one way to do it?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
Lorenzie was packing his bag for a school trip. He packed four
shirts and three pairs of pants. "I will be able to have a
different outfit each day", he said. How many days will Lorenzie be
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have
forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an
8. How many possible combinations are there to try?
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
Jack has nine tiles. He put them together to make a square so that two tiles of the same colour were not beside each other. Can you find another way to do it?
Arrange 3 red, 3 blue and 3 yellow counters into a three-by-three square grid, so that there is only one of each colour in every row and every column
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
How many different shapes can you make by putting four right-
angled isosceles triangles together?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days
as possible, how many days can their fun last?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a
rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle
pieces could there be?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They
decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with
each of the others. What was the total number rides?
Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He
can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you
find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and
Bharat live in.
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
Take three differently coloured blocks - maybe red, yellow and blue. Make a tower using one of each colour. How many different towers can you make?
These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the multiplication sums to work out what they are?
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
The Red Express Train usually has five red carriages. How many ways
can you find to add two blue carriages?
The brown frog and green frog want to swap places without getting
wet. They can hop onto a lily pad next to them, or hop over each
other. How could they do it?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three
puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
Can you order the digits from 1-6 to make a number which is
divisible by 6 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a
5-figure number divisible by 5, and so on?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one
minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the
real time) they arrived at the airport.
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there
is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How
about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.