This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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
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.
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5
grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand
point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
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?
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks
and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they
Arrange the shapes in a line so that you change either colour or
shape in the next piece along. Can you find several ways to start
with a blue triangle and end with a red circle?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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?
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?
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There
are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many
different ways can they build their houses?
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?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are
consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight
and 7 a.m.?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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
Sally and Ben were drawing shapes in chalk on the school
playground. Can you work out what shapes each of them drew using
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 DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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.
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
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?