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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
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 models can you find which obey these rules?
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
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.
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.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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
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?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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....?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
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?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
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?