These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
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. . . .
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence
to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort
them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we
arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
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?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
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 to colour each square.
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?
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.
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks
and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that
they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can
you investigate all the different possibilities?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
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?
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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 put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?