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?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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.
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?
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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles
using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What
other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
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?
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?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
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
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?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three
biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with
two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes
totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the
different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
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?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
This problem focuses on Dienes' Logiblocs. What is the same and
what is different about these pairs of shapes? Can you describe the
shapes in the picture?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
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.
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?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.