These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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
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.
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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?
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 eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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 can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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
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?
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.
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
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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?
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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 help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next
to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M.
What order were they in?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?