Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle pieces could there be?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
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?
Lorenzie was packing his bag for a school trip. He packed four shirts and three pairs of pants. "I will be able to have a different outfit each day", he said. How many days will Lorenzie be away?
The Red Express Train usually has five red carriages. How many ways can you find to add two blue carriages?
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?
Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?
The brown frog and green frog want to swap places without getting wet. They can hop onto a lily pad next to them, or hop over each other. How could they do it?
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?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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.
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this line?
How many different shapes can you make by putting four right- angled isosceles triangles together?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
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.
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.
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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 jugs.
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
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.
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.
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?
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 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 could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?
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?
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?
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?
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!
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What are the possible paths you could take?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Can you see who the gold medal winner is? What about the silver medal winner and the bronze medal winner?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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.
Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
What two-digit numbers can you make with these two dice? What can't you make?