Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which
there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged
to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made from 27 unit cubes so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original 3 by 3 by 3. . . .
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
A 3x3x3 cube may be reduced to unit cubes in six saw cuts. If after
every cut you can rearrange the pieces before cutting straight
through, can you do it in fewer?
This problem is about investigating whether it is possible to start at one vertex of a platonic solid and visit every other vertex once only returning to the vertex you started at.
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be
folded into a cube.
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we
In the game of Noughts and Crosses there are 8 distinct winning
lines. How many distinct winning lines are there in a game played
on a 3 by 3 by 3 board, with 27 cells?
A useful visualising exercise which offers opportunities for
discussion and generalising, and which could be used for thinking
about the formulae needed for generating the results on a
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and
allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into
water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the
surface. . . .
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
I've made some cubes and some cubes with holes in. This challenge invites you to explore the difference in the number of small cubes I've used. Can you see any patterns?
How can we as teachers begin to introduce 3D ideas to young
children? Where do they start? How can we lay the foundations for a
later enthusiasm for working in three dimensions?
The challenge for you is to make a string of six (or more!) graded cubes.
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
Imagine a 4 by 4 by 4 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will not have holes drilled through them?
Make a cube with three strips of paper. Colour three faces or use
the numbers 1 to 6 to make a die.
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we
can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made of 9 small cubes. Each face of the large cube is painted a different colour. How many small cubes will have two painted faces? Where are they?
Can you use small coloured cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of each colour?
How can you paint the faces of these eight cubes so they can be put
together to make a 2 x 2 cube that is green all over AND a 2 x 2
cube that is yellow all over?
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
How can you change the surface area of a cuboid but keep its volume the same? How can you change the volume but keep the surface area the same?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
Here are the six faces of a cube - in no particular order. Here are
three views of the cube. Can you deduce where the faces are in
relation to each other and record them on the net of this cube?
A game has a special dice with a colour spot on each face. These three pictures show different views of the same dice. What colour is opposite blue?
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for
practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
A description of how to make the five Platonic solids out of paper.