This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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 mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using
a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How
can her answer be the same as the total at the till?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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.
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?
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
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a 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?
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?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square
hole for each disc. Use the information to find out how many discs
of each colour there are in the box.
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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!
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Move your counters through this snake of cards and see how far you
can go. Are you surprised by where you end up?
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?
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?