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.
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!
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?
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
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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!
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 put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
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
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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?
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?
This challenge is about finding the difference between numbers which have the same tens digit.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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?
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?
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?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
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?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel
along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the
shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
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.
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
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?