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Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.


Reasoning about the number of matches needed to build squares that share their sides.

Little Boxes

How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

Painted Faces

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

This activity is all about imagining, as you might do when you listen to a story or poem.

There is no need to write or draw anything


talking about it could be good
find a friend to do this with!

Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made from 27 smaller cubes.
Perhaps it's here - but behind this cloud!
So, remove the cloud in your mind and there it is!

It's hanging in the air in front of you so you can just see one face of it and that face has been painted red

The right-hand side face has been painted yellow

The left-hand side face has been painted blue

The top face has been painted white

The underneath bottom face has been painted black

The back face has been painted green.

1. How many small cubes have just two of their faces painted?
2. Where are they?
3. What are the two colours on each of those small cubes that have two faces painted?

Now you could try the same things with a larger starting cube, that is 4 by 4 by 4, and answer the same three questions.

If you'd like to take these ideas a bit further, have a look at Painted Cube .