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?
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.
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
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
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.
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
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 is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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.
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph 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?
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
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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
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?
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!
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?
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?
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 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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 fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?