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?
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
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
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?
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?
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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
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?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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 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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?
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?
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?
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no
column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour
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.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost
their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the
clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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....?
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.?
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 different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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 the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
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?
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?
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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.