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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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!
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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!
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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.
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?
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.
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
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.?
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.
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
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?
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?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has
taken? What does each face look like?
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?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
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.
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.