This problem is intended to get children to look really hard at something they will see many times in the next few months.
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?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.
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?
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?
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?
Explore ways of colouring this set of triangles. Can you make symmetrical patterns?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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!
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?
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
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.
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
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?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could investigate your own starting shape.
"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 ...?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.
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?
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.