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
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.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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?
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?
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?
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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 happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
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.
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....?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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 can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
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.
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
How many different rhythms can you make by putting two drums on the
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?
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?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
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 models can you find which obey these rules?
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
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.
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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.