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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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....?
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?
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
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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
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.
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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!
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the
jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake
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?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
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!
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!