Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of
four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be
put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways
that this can be done?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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.
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?
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five
square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
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.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost
their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
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?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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!
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
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.
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?
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
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5
grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand
point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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!
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
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?
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?
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one
minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the
real time) they arrived at the airport.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?