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?
Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five
equilateral triangles edge to edge.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
How many possible necklaces can you find? And how do you know you've found them all?
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one
minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the
real time) they arrived at the airport.
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got 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.
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no
mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there
more than one way to do it?
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He
can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you
find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three
puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
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?
In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has
taken? What does each face look like?
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?
Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime
numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a
rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle
pieces could there be?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape
of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get
from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
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 is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.