This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?
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?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
Explore the triangles that can be made with seven sticks of the same length.
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns with two different types of triangle. You could even try overlapping them.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds so find out which we might have bought.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different combinations of these can you find?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you try the other shapes?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
Sort the houses in my street into different groups. Can you do it in any other ways?
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?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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.
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?