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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
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?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five
equilateral triangles edge to edge.
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?
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?
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
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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 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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
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?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network
following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with
any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They
decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with
each of the others. What was the total number rides?
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?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this
birthday message say?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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?
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?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next
to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M.
What order were they in?