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?
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?
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
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?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
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?
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.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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.
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 different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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!
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?
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?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
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?
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds. What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you are given?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
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?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?
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?
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.
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.
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 number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns with two different types of triangle. You could even try overlapping them.