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 best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
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?
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?
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?
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 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?
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
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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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
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.
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel
along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the
shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
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?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
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?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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.
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on
wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works
using the table of the alphabet?
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?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
If you put three beads onto a tens/ones abacus you could make the
numbers 3, 30, 12 or 21. What numbers can be made with six beads?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the
clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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!
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
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?
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
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.
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?