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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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?
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?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the 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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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
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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to
generate it with just one number used twice.
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?
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
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
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!
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?
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.
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.
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 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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
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?