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?
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
Use the clues to colour each square.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
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
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?
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.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
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?
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.
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
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?
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 put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?