In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do 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?
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?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You
win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white
rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has
taken? What does each face look like?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this
birthday message say?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the
clues to work out were each person is sitting.
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are
consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight
and 7 a.m.?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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
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
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's,
using rods that are identical?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel
along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the
shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
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.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on
wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works
using the table of the alphabet?
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?
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?
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?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost
their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.