Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
Explore one of these five pictures.
"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 ...?
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can
you find in the numbers in this box?
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of
numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a
straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone
numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a
sequence adding 2 each time?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
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?
Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What
would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start
Investigate the different shaped bracelets you could make from 18 different spherical beads. How do they compare if you use 24 beads?
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?
Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the
direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the
path it's already made.
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why
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?
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?
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the
result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different
numbers and different rules.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
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?
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.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
How will you decide which way of flipping over and/or turning the grid will give you the highest total?
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?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
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?
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
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 we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s,
3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different
ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each
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.
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean
in the context of primary classrooms.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?