What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Use the clues to colour each square.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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.
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?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can
this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover
an eight by eight chessboard?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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!
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the