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.
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five
square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can
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.
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
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?
Here are more buildings to picture in your mind's eye. Watch out -
they become quite complicated!
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?
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 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.
Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can
you do it in more than one way?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
Here are some pictures of 3D shapes made from cubes. Can you make
these shapes yourself?
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?
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we
can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
You have 27 small cubes, 3 each of nine colours. Use the small cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of every colour.
This feature brings together tasks which make use of interlocking cubes.
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
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.
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What
would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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 short article outlines a few activities which make use of interlocking cubes.