An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
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 ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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?
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?
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
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
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 can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
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?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel
along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the
shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.