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?
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
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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.
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?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube.
Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the
shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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 the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
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!
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
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?