How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
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
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
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.
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Use the clues to colour each square.
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?
Use the clues about the symmetrical properties of these letters to
place them on the grid.
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
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.
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 challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
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
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?