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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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 different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?
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....?
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
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?
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?
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.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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 cover the camel with these pieces?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
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?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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.
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
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
Use the clues to colour each square.