How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
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?
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?
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?
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
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be
put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways
that this can be done?
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
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.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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.
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
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?
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 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?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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!
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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?
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16
pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these
pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
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?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What
would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a
straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a
special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in
one shop, where would be the cheapest?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
The red ring is inside the blue ring in this picture. Can you
rearrange the rings in different ways? Perhaps you can overlap them
or put one outside another?
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?