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?
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?
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?
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
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.
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?
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 is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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?
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?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next
to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M.
What order were they in?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
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?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and
Bharat live in.
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.
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
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?
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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?
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?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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?
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 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.
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.
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?
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
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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.
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 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?