An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
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?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
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.
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
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?
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.
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
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?
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?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
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?
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?
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 challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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.
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?
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
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
In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s,
3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
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?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
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?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
"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 ...?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a
go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
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 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?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
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.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.