In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is
the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images
help to explain this?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight
from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by
99 square board?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you
move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up
with the same arrangement?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable.
Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
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?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
Start with two numbers. This is the start of a sequence. The next
number is the average of the last two numbers. Continue the
sequence. What will happen if you carry on for ever?
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the
first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation.
How far does the dot travel?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z
coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that
cannot be made? How do you know?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering
the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way
that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What
number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to
dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?