How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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 different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Use the clues about the symmetrical properties of these letters to
place them on the grid.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
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.
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
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?
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no
column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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.
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.
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
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.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
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?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost
their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are
consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight
and 7 a.m.?
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?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?