This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
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
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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?
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?
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
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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?
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.
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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 is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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?
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?
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?
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?
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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.
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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel
along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the
shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
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!
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?