What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
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
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?
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 shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep
truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
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?
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?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can
this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover
an eight by eight chessboard?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
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?
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
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 different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
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
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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 trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
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
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there
is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How
about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
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?
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?