This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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
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?
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?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
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?
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?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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?
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
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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.?
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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 is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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?
Sally and Ben were drawing shapes in chalk on the school
playground. Can you work out what shapes each of them drew using
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
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
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire