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.
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
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
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
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 best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
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.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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 ...?
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.
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence
to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
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 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 many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort
them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we
arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that
they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can
you investigate all the different possibilities?
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?
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?
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles.
Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4,
5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
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?
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks
and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they
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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
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?
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles
using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What
other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
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?
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?
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.