These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Use the clues to colour each square.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
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 rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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?
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?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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 many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence
to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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.
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?
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?
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?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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 triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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. . . .
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there
is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How
about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?