An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
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
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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!
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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.
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
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!
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.
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
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?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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 do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
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 multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next
to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M.
What order were they in?
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on
wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works
using the table of the alphabet?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?