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?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Use the clues to colour each square.
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?
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?
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
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
The Red Express Train usually has five red carriages. How many ways
can you find to add two blue carriages?
Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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.
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
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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 best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no
column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour
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?
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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!
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 challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
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 many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
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.
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.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?