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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the 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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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?
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?
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?
Use the clues about the symmetrical properties of these letters to
place them on the grid.
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
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?
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.
Use the clues to colour each square.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
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?
What is the least number of moves you can take to rearrange the
bears so that no bear is next to a bear of the same colour?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
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?