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?
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
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.
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
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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
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.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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.
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
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below 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?
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.
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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!
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
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?
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?