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?
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?
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
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?
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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
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.
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.
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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.
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.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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
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?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network
following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with
any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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?
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
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?
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
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?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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?
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....?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.