How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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?
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
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?
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?
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?
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.
Use the clues about the symmetrical properties of these letters to
place them on the grid.
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
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.
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.
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?
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 many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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 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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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.
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.
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
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.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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....?
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five
square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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?
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 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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
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.
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.
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?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.