A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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 away?
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?
The Red Express Train usually has five red carriages. How many ways can you find to add two blue carriages?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
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.
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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?
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?
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!
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?
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
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!
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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 jugs.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.