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?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
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?
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?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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?
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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?
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.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
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.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
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?
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.
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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
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.
Pentagram Pylons - can you elegantly recreate them? Or, the
European flag in LOGO - what poses the greater problem?
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What
movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of
procedures will help - variables not essential.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Remember that you want someone following behind you to see where
you went. Can yo work out how these patterns were created and