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
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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 can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
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....?
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.
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
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network
following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with
any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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!
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared 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?
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?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
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?
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 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
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
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?
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?