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Cover the Camel

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level

Cover the Camel


Can you cover the picture of the camel with pieces shaped like this?


piece       flipped over tile


You may like to print off and cut out the camel and pieces from these sheets.

Please let us know how you completed the camel and send in pictures of him/her completely covered!


This activity originally featured in the hands-on Brain Buster Maths Boxes, developed by members of the NRICH Team and produced by BEAM. These resources are out of print but can still be found on Amazon. 


Why do this problem?

This problem is a lovely context in which children can develop their ability to visualise. Visualisation is required in two ways. Firstly, children must plan ahead so as not to leave impossible spaces. Secondly, they must try to turn each piece in their ''mind's eye'' to decide which is needed for a particular gap.

Possible approach

If you would like children to work on this problem practically, you can print out these photocopiable sheets. The image of the camel is on the first sheet and the ten pieces to fit into it on the second sheet.


Key questions

Where might be a good place to start?
Is there anywhere else you can put a piece straight-away?
If you put that piece there, will you be able to fit another one in easily?
Have you tried turning the piece round?
Have you tried turning the piece over so it's the other way up?
Have you got any spaces that you can't fill?
Have you counted the number of squares in the gap?


Possible extension

Learners could make their own designs on squared paper using these shapes.


Possible support

You could partially complete the camel yourself, and then ask learners to fill in the rest independently.