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 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?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
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.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
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 ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
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....?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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 challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
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?
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
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?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of
plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in
each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
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 a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
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
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.