Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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 different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
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?
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
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?
Use the clues to colour each square.
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?
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?
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
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You
win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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.
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?
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
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?
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is
designed to meet. . . .
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has
taken? What does each face look like?
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
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!
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?