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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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?
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
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?
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.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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 cover the camel with these pieces?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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 many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with 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?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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?
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.
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?
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?!
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
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Can you order the digits from 1-6 to make a number which is
divisible by 6 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a
5-figure number divisible by 5, and so on?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
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?
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
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?
How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral
triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them
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?