Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
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?
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
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?
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
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?
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?
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!
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white
rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
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.
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has
taken? What does each face look like?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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.?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the
clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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
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?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
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?
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost
their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
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?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
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?