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?
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?
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 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?
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
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 smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There
are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many
different ways can they build their houses?
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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?
Use the clues to colour each square.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
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.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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.
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?
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no
column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour
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?
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?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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 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.
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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!
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost
their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and
ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?