The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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
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.
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
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.
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 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
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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!
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
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?
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
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.
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You
win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
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
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They
decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with
each of the others. What was the total number rides?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this
birthday message say?
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white
rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the
clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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 rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three
biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with
two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey
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.?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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!
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
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?
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.
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?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
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?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
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?
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?