This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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?
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 smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There
are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many
different ways can they build their houses?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
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....?
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?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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
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.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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 shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep
truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
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
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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?
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.
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?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
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?