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?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below 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?
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?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
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
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
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.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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!
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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.
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?
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.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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
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?
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?
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!
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
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?
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.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five
square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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.
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
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?
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....?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?