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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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 use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
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?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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....?
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 substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?