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?
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?
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?
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....?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
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
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?
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 cover the camel with these pieces?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
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?
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 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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Use the clues to colour each square.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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 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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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.
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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 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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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
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?
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
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?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
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.
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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?