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
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?
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Use the clues to colour each square.
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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 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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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.
Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Take three differently coloured blocks - maybe red, yellow and blue. Make a tower using one of each colour. How many different towers can you 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
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 the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have
forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an
8. How many possible combinations are there to try?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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
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?
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!
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.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.