These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
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
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
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?
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 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.
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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 work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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. . . .
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network
following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with
any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
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.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?
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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?
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 many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?