Exploring balance and centres of mass can be great fun. The resulting structures can seem impossible. Here are some images to encourage you to experiment with non-breakable objects of your own.
Use these four dominoes to make a square that has the same number of dots on each side.
Use the information about Sally and her brother to find out how many children there are in the Brown family.
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.
Can you make a cycle of pairs that add to make a square number using all the numbers in the box below, once and once only?
There are three baskets, a brown one, a red one and a pink one, holding a total of 10 eggs. Can you use the information given to find out how many eggs are in each basket?
Can you make the green spot travel through the tube by moving the yellow spot? Could you draw a tube that both spots would follow?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
You have a set of the digits from 0 – 9. Can you arrange these in the 5 boxes to make two-digit numbers as close to the targets as possible?
Help the bee to build a stack of blocks far enough to save his friend trapped in the tower.
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10.
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
If these balls are put on a line with each ball touching the one in front and the one behind, which arrangement makes the shortest line of balls?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
There are three versions of this challenge. The idea is to change the colour of all the spots on the grid. Can you do it in fewer throws of the dice?
In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
Nine squares with side lengths 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 18 cm can be fitted together to form a rectangle. What are the dimensions of the rectangle?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
Can you arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 to make a Number Sandwich?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the rule for giving another set of six numbers?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?
Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add, subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷) to make these digits come to 100.
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square hole for each. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box.
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
Can you find a reliable strategy for choosing coordinates that will locate the robber in the minimum number of guesses?
As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?
Factor track is not a race but a game of skill. The idea is to go round the track in as few moves as possible, keeping to the rules.
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Use five steps to count forwards or backwards in 1s or 10s to get to 50. What strategies did you use?
Is it possible to draw a 5-pointed star without taking your pencil off the paper? Is it possible to draw a 6-pointed star in the same way without taking your pen off?
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
You have two sets of the digits 0 – 9. Can you arrange these in the five boxes to make four-digit numbers as close to the target numbers as possible?
Arrange the shapes in a line so that you change either colour or shape in the next piece along. Can you find several ways to start with a blue triangle and end with a red circle?
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as possible?